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Politicians Are Great Criminals
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OSHO : Sat Chit Anand, Chapter 17

OSHO,
Is there any difference between the criminals and the politicians?

The criminal is poor; he is uneducated, unsophisticated and simple-hearted. The politician is a hypocrite -- cunning, diplomatic, sophisticated. But their essential reality is the same. In other words, the criminal is a politician who could not succeed, and the politician is a criminal who has succeeded in attaining power.

But their psychologies are not different. They both want power and domination; they both want to do things without any concern for the consequences; they are both end-oriented, they don't bother about the means. Their basic philosophy is the same: the ends justify the means. If you succeed, then how you have succeeded -- using right means or wrong means -- does not matter. Success proves that your means were right. It is the end that proves your means were right.

They are both violent. But if you have to choose between the two, the criminal is certainly the better. He does harm, but his harm is very limited -- maybe he kills someone. But Genghis Khan alone killed forty million people; Tamerlane killed thirty million people; Nadir Shah killed forty million people. The exact numbers Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Ivan the Terrible killed are not available. But they must have succeeded in killing far more than Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, Nadir Shah.

But numbers for Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are available. Joseph Stalin alone killed more than one million people after the revolution in Russia. Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews inside Germany, and in the whole second world war he killed nearabout thirty million people.

Criminals have a very limited score. Politicians are great criminals.

So great that you accept them as your heroes, so great that they create history.

I have known politicians in the highest posts and I have seen criminals. And I was amazed by the fact that criminals have done whatever wrong they have done out of innocence. They were not aware of the law, they were temperamental. In a certain moment of rage and anger they became mad and they did something, but their act was not premeditated. And that makes a tremendous difference.

The politicians I have known have done far greater harm to humanity. And they go on doing harm, because they have all the powers of the armies, of the bureaucracy. And they do it not out of innocence. Their actions, howsoever ugly, are preconsidered, well planned.

But they belong to the same category; politicians are bigger criminals, that is the only difference -- the difference of quantity. The criminals are simple human beings. Their only fault is their unconsciousness. And they don't take note of what the outcome of their action will be. They don't plan it well.

One of my teachers, an old Mohammedan, always used to be in charge of the examinations. He was a very beautiful man. He never married. I asked him once, "Why have you never married? You are such a beautiful man. You could have got a very beautiful woman."
He said, "It is difficult. I can afford only one thing." And he loved clothes so much that he had three hundred and sixty-five dresses -- every day a different dress. And he said, "It is difficult to maintain both a wife.... And I am a poor teacher. In one year's time the turn of a dress will come, and by that time people have forgotten about it." So he was always looking at new dresses -- very costly. His whole salary was going into clothes. But he lived in a beautiful small house, very well decorated with a beautiful garden.
He was very much respected and because of that respect, he was always chosen to be in charge of the examinations. Before the examinations, he would tell the students, "Remember one thing: to do wrong is not wrong, but to be caught doing it is wrong. You are free to do whatever you want to do -- copying, cheating. You may be carrying books inside your clothes, notes.... Everything is allowed, just don't get caught red-handed. I am going to do my work: I will make every effort to catch you. So I warn you; don't blame me later on.
"If you are courageous enough and you are certain that you are cunning enough to get away with whatever you are doing, it is perfectly okay. But if you are caught, you are finished -- your one year is lost. So I will give two minutes' time for you to think. Either you bring all your notes, all your books, that you are hiding in your clothes -- anything that you are doing which is not allowed in the examination.... Just bring it here. I will keep my eyes closed so you don't feel embarrassed, because I don't want anybody to feel embarrassed. After two minutes...then it is your responsibility."
And he would sit with closed eyes, a very sincere man. He simply did not want to embarrass anybody. And students would come with books and notes. Some would even come with notes written inside their shirts and they would have to sit the whole time without shirts. But they knew the man was very clever, you could not deceive him.
And when people started coming, then others would lose their nerve, and they would come. Within two minutes his table was full of notes, clothes, handkerchiefs.... People had to run out to wash their hands, because they had written notes on their hands. Within two minutes everything was clean. And he would ask, "Can I open my eyes or are you still doing it?"

He was saying something immensely important.

The politician is the criminal who has not been caught, and the criminal is the politician who is not clever enough, who has been caught.

And the criminal was doing a very small thing, on a small scale. But basically they are not different. The politicians are ugly creatures in the sense that they go on interfering in other people's lives.

One night Hymie Goldberg is coming home. It is a dark night and he is late. And a man comes close to him and says to him, "I have been robbed. The robbers have taken away everything. All that I have got is this gun." He puts the gun on Hymie Goldberg's chest and he says, "Now, you have two alternatives: either you give me money or I give you death."
There was a great silence. Even that murderer started feeling a little nervous, because Goldberg was just standing there. And he said, "Have you heard me or not?"
Hymie said, "I have heard, but let me think."

But it is very rare to find such people who decide between money or death. Probably most people would give you the money, because anyway, if you are dead, the money will be gone. What is there to think about? But Goldberg has a thousand years of heritage. He is a perfect Jew.

The ordinary criminal uses direct means. That's why he is caught. The politician uses very indirect means.

It is very difficult to catch hold of him.

Indira Gandhi told me once, "I never write anything, I simply phone, because writing can be used as a proof against me any day." This is great planning. She would call the governor of a state and say, "Do it." But she would never write anything. Now, a verbal communication -- there is no record of it. And she said, "There are stupid politicians who go on writing things when they are in power."
And she showed me a whole file. That was her whole power. The file had come as an inheritance from her father, who was the first prime minister of India. He was collecting material against all the politicians -- although they were men of his own party -- proofs that could be exposed any moment if the man tried anything against the party or against the party leader. If anyone wanted to leave the party he could not leave because Nehru knew....
The file became such a terror that even the great leaders of this country were afraid of it. Nobody knew exactly what was collected in the file, because everybody was doing all kinds of wrong things.

Just a few days ago.... There was one president, Sardar Zail Singh, and he had ample proofs against the prime minister that he was not listening to him, he was not even asking him for necessary signatures. Without those signatures, nothing can be done. The president is only a nominal head in India, but his power is the signature. And things were happening without Singh's signature.
But he could not do anything, because when he was chief minister of Punjab, he had been caught red-handed taking a big bribe. The investigation was started, and completed, and it was proved in the investigation that he was a criminal, but Rajiv never passed that file on to him. He never said a single word about it to the newspapers or to the country. This was a key thing.
So, when Zail Singh wanted to say some things to the country which were going to be against the prime minister, he was told, "It is perfectly okay, you can speak but your file is in my hands: it will be exposed. You will be immediately arrested."
He could not ask for an extension to be the president again. And even though he is no longer a president, he cannot say anything against the government though he knows everything, for the simple reason that his own crime will be immediately exposed. When he was president he was immune, he could not have been arrested. But now he is an ordinary citizen. He will be arrested, harassed.... Every harm can be done to him.

Politicians work in criminal ways.

Ronald Reagan was saying to the senate that he would not sell armaments to Iran -- because of course Iran is anti-American -- and, "How can I sell armaments to Iran which can be used one day against America?" He was saying this to the senate and underneath, in the darkness, armaments were being sold to Iran. Nobody would have known it.
And because all those armaments were sold without his own senate and the country knowing about it, all the money must have been going into his own pocket. He was caught red-handed, because when Iran and America had a conflict a few months ago, Iran used American armaments against America. It was a puzzle: how have they got American armaments?
And it was clear to the senate that Ronald Reagan had done another tremendously criminal thing: he has put billions...trillions of dollars into very sophisticated armaments which he does not have people trained to operate. And he has been selling the old armaments which his whole army is trained to use. Now, this is creating the situation where, if America gets into a war with a country like Russia, there is no chance for America to win. It will have all the sophisticated arms, but no experts to operate them. And it has sold all its old armaments for which the whole army is trained.

Even a small country like Iran managed to fight with America.

For the simple reason that it knows perfectly well that what Ronald Reagan is doing is against America, against his own country -- just for his own interest, because he cannot run again for president. He has been president twice already, so this is the last chance to gather as much money as he can manage, by any means.

Now this is the ugliest thing that one can do to one's own country. Do you understand the facts? People are not trained and you have wasted trillions of dollars on arms which scientists have recently invented, for which years of training will be needed. And you have taken away all the old armaments for which people are trained, and you have sold them. And you have sold them because you think that you have got better armaments, so there is no need for the old armaments. But just having the better armaments is not enough -- you need people to operate them.

In just a small conflict with Iran, it became clear. America had the best missiles, but they all missed, because the people who were using them had no idea what to do with them, how to use them. The more sophisticated the armament, the more training and expertise is needed. Reagan has put the whole country into the most dangerous situation.

And just the other day I received a letter from a very well-known fighter for human rights. He has exposed what Ronald Reagan and his company are doing: they are trying to distort the whole constitution. In America, religion and state should remain separate -- that is the constitution of a secular state. And every religion should have the same opportunity; no single religion should be the dominant religion. It is not a religious state.

But Ronald Reagan is a fundamentalist Christian.

That is the most fanatical group of Christians. And he has conspired with all the Christian bishops, Christian divine healers, and now he has in his hands the majority of the people.

The country is Christian and he is trying in every way to impose Christianity on American citizens. He has been trying for a long time, as he was when I was there. And the Supreme Court refused. He was trying to make the Christian prayer, approved by the church, compulsory in every school, in every college, in every university: every educational institution should start the workday only after they have said the Christian prayer.

But he failed, because the Supreme Court decided that this is against the constitution. He went roundabout: he said, "It is against the constitution if the government enforces it. Right. But if the parents enforce it, the constitution has no power over it." So, he argued, in non-governmental institutions which get governmental support -- they are semi-governmental, not under the government's direct control, like colleges, even universities, schools in the thousands -- the parents can decide, because they are the trustees of those institutions. They can decide: "In our institution, Christian prayer will be the beginning point."

This was going in a roundabout way. And now, a few judges have become very old, so he has changed them. There are nine judges: all that he needs is five judges in his favor. Four judges have become old and have retired. The American constitution allows the president to appoint the Supreme Court judges, because the people who made the constitution could never have conceived a situation where suddenly four judges would retire. If one judge retires it does not make any difference. The president can place his own man, but the eight remaining judges will be there to oppose him -- he will not have the majority.

It is the first time in the whole history of America that four judges have been appointed by the president. One judge who is very sick and very old insists on remaining -- because he says he is the only defense for constitutional rights. If he retires then the fifth judge will also be Ronald Reagan's. Then five judges are enough, and whatever he wants, he can do. He can overrule the constitution, he can even change the constitution.

And that old man is being harassed from every side to retire. He is sick in the hospital, but he is reluctant to retire. "Because," he says, "once I retire, America loses all its constitutional rights. It becomes a Christian country. No other religions will have the independence to exist. They will be dominated by the Christians."

But how long can that man last? And because Ronald Reagan's term is coming to an end soon...that man can be killed, that man can be poisoned, that man can be declared naturally dead -- he is old and in the hospital. And I have every suspicion that before Ronald Reagan retires that man is going to die. Either he will retire or he will die. And they will find ways, which are very easy, to kill that man, just to get Reagan's man appointed.

And the chance may never come again for a president to appoint five judges. He can change the whole constitution, he can change everything that is beautiful in the American constitution.

Religion can become dominant over the whole country -- one single cult, one single creed.

Politicians are criminals with very clever, cunning, planning minds. Criminals are poor people, small politicians -- not knowing how to do things. They go on doing things and getting caught.

Ronald Reagan and his entourage are flying to Japan when the plane is forced to land in the Pacific Ocean. Escaping from the plane they are washed up on a desert island and find themselves without food or water.
The next morning they notice the wreckage of the plane only two hundred yards from the shore, but they also see sharks.
"I'll swim out and get some food," volunteers one man, "I used to be a lifeguard." He dives into the water but the sharks soon find him and he is forced to return.
Another man steps forward, "I am the President's bodyguard and those sharks had better watch out!" He gets twenty yards into the surf before racing back to the beach with sharks snapping at his heels.
Suddenly Reagan jumps up. "I am the President and I can manage it. I will bring back some food," he declares. No one takes much notice, but when he strides down to the beach everyone becomes alarmed.
He enters the water and immediately eight sharks form a two-lane escort, and help him to the plane and back again.
"It is a miracle!" cries Nancy.
"Nonsense!" snaps Reagan. "It is just professional courtesy."

Just the same category of people -- what those sharks are doing on a small scale, the great president is doing on a greater scale. Naturally the poor sharks show professional courtesy.... A great hero! They escort him like bodyguards, take him to the plane and back.

There is not much difference in their approach, in their attitude. The world will be far better if politicians and criminals, who belong to the same category, disappear from the world. And it will be easy to make criminals disappear, because their demands are not much and perhaps their situations are forcing them to be criminals.

Somebody cannot manage to have medicines for his dying wife and he steals. You cannot call him a criminal. In fact, the society is criminal which does not make arrangements for a dying wife. That man is simply breaking the rule of a criminal society. But he will be called criminal, because the society owns the courts, the judges, the law, the constitution, everything.

Most of the criminals are created by situations. Most of the politicians are created by their own ambition.

Hence they are the most dangerous people in the world. And if the world wants to be at peace, politicians should disappear entirely from this planet. And once they disappear, criminals will disappear without much effort. They are simply shadows of the politicians. The politicians have created a society which is basically criminal.

I have told you the story about Lao Tzu. He was made the chief justice by a Chinese emperor who thought that he was the most wise and the most respected human being in the whole empire. He could not find a better chief justice.
Lao Tzu told him, "It won't last long. If you say so, I will accept the post. But you don't know me, you have just heard about me."
But the emperor was stubborn as emperors are supposed to be. He said, "No. You have to accept this post."
The first case that came before Lao Tzu was about a great thief who had stolen a lot of money and armaments from the richest man of the empire.
The man was so rich that he was lending money to the emperor. He was far richer than the emperor himself. And naturally, he had never expected what happened. The man -- the thief -- was caught red-handed. So there was no question that he should not be punished. Lao Tzu heard the whole thing, both sides, and gave the judgment that, "The thief and the rich man, both, should be sent to jail for six months."
The rich man could not believe his ears. He said, "What is going on, what kind of justice is this? I have been robbed and you are sending me to jail?"
Lao Tzu said, "According to me, you are the real criminal. He is just your shadow. You have accumulated the whole wealth of the country, you have left everybody poor, beggars. You have exploited so much that now it is a natural consequence: people will steal from you. I cannot send your shadow to jail without sending you also. The shadow alone cannot go to jail. It will go only with you."
The rich man said, "Then I want to have an audience with the emperor before you implement your judgment."
And he told the emperor what kind of madman he had chosen: "Just try to understand. If today he is sending me to jail, tomorrow you will be my companion in jail, because we belong to the same profession. I exploit people, you exploit people. Our whole profession is to be parasites. And you have put that crazy guy who.... Never in history has such a judgment happened."
The emperor also became alerted and thought, "This is dangerous. Perhaps that man was right when he said, 'You don't understand me, and you don't understand my way of thinking. You are taking an unnecessary risk by appointing me your chief justice.'"
Lao Tzu was relieved immediately.

OSHO,
Why do you always laugh at the pope? Are you against him for any personal reasons?

I have no antagonism against anybody in the world for personal reasons. I laugh at the pope for absolutely impersonal reasons. First, he pretends to be the only infallible man in the whole world, which is absolutely absurd, because the whole history of popes shows that is not right.

One pope burned Joan of Arc because she had become so powerful, so respected by people, that the pope started feeling jealous. She had freed France from slavery. And certainly a young girl with such courage had never been seen in the whole of history. It was obvious that she would have tremendous love and respect from the people. She had brought freedom to them as a gift.

The pope was very jealous. In fact, he felt that people had been paying more attention to her than to him. He declared her a witch and once the pope declared any woman a witch, the only punishment was to be burned alive. And Joan of Arc was burned alive. It was very shocking to the whole of Europe.

And slowly, slowly the sympathy towards her became so strong that after three hundred years, another pope came along who saw that it was impossible to remain as the highest and the most important person unless something was done about Joan of Arc, because her glory had become far greater than it was before she was burned.

And the pope decided that it was a mistake to think of her as a witch. "She is a saint," he declared. "From now onwards, she will be known as Saint Joan of Arc." And her grave was opened -- just burned bones were there. Those bones were taken out after three hundred years, worshipped, taken to the special graveyard where only saints have their graves, and the pope himself came for this great moment to confer sainthood on those dead bones. The woman had been burned three hundred years before. On what grounds can the pope say that he is infallible?

Such cases are many. If one pope decides she is a witch and another pope decides she is a saint, both cannot be right. Both can be wrong, but both cannot be right. If one is right, then the other is wrong. The idea of infallibility is laughable. It is sheer arrogance. And the pope declares that he is the direct representative of Jesus.

The truth is that the tradition of popes started three hundred years after Jesus' crucifixion.

There is a gap between the beginning of the tradition of the popes and Jesus. The gap is of three hundred years. How could Jesus have appointed them to be his representatives?

But nobody asks them, because they are surrounded with Christians who simply believe whatever they say. The pope before this pope was a homosexual. It was known to everybody, because before becoming a pope, he was a cardinal in Milan, where he was continuously moving with his homosexual boyfriend. And the whole of Milan knew it. It was the talk of the town. It was so ugly.

And then he was chosen to be the pope. And immediately, the first thing he did was to appoint his boyfriend as a secretary. Secretaries seem to be strange people, but to have a woman as a secretary is understandable. And that boyfriend was hanging around him -- no secretarial job or anything. That was just a facade to keep him in the Vatican. And these people go on talking about infallibility.... They go on talking about their direct connection with God.

I don't have any personal antagonism, and particularly towards this pope, although he is the worst that has ever happened in the long line of popes.

When Nathan Nussbaum returns to America from Europe, his partner in the men's clothing store wants to hear everything about the trip.
"And I even went in a group to see the Vatican," says Nathan, "where we were blessed by the pope."
"The pope?" exclaims the partner. "What does he look like?"
"Nothing special," answers Nathan. "I would figure a size forty-four, short."

A tailor has his own understanding about things. I also have my understanding and I am not a tailor.... I can see the whole stupidity of all the popes that have been in power. One pope forced Galileo to change in his book his lifelong research proving that the earth moves around the sun. "Change it, otherwise you will be punished by being burned alive. Because the Bible says -- and the Bible can never be wrong. Because it is the written word of God himself.... You have to change it and write that the sun goes around the earth."

Galileo was very old and sick. He said, "There is no problem. I will change it. Just one thing you have to remember: my changing it does not make any difference. The earth will still go around the sun. Neither the earth reads my books, nor the sun reads my books. If you say.... I am not a stubborn person and I don't care which one moves. This is my research. Even if I change it, tomorrow somebody is going to discover it again; because this is the fact."

But for the pope the question was totally different.

If one thing is found wrong in the Bible, then the whole Bible comes under suspicion.

Who knows? If one thing is wrong, other things may be wrong also. And if God can write wrong things -- is fallible -- where does the pope stand?

And particularly this pope, who is a Polack.... I am worried, immensely worried, about what they are going to find after this pope dies, although he will live longer than they think.

Popes in the past have not lived more than one year, or two years, because they became pope at the very end of their life. It is a long hierarchy. They start as the lowest of priests, they become bishops, they become cardinals, and then finally, two hundred cardinals choose the pope. It is very rare and only very old people are chosen, for the simple reason that they will be dying within a year or two, when another cardinal can be chosen.

This is a simple strategy in politics. But they forgot...this Polack has completely forgotten to die. He was chosen with the hope that he would follow the tradition because he was old. But he is enjoying so much being the pope that he has been becoming younger, not older. And now all the cardinals are in a fix -- what to do? And where are they going to find somebody after the Polack dies? You will have to find someone more stupid, more idiotic, and I don't think there are people outside Poland who can manage to be more stupid than this man.

Two Polacks are leaving school to go out into the world. One of them asks the other, "And what are you going to do with your life?"
"Well," replies the other, "I have decided to be a chicken farmer."
Five years later they meet on the street and the first Polack asks, "How is the chicken farm going?"
"My God," replies the other, "it was a complete disaster. All my chickens died."
"Why," asks his friend, "what happened?"
"I am not sure," the other Polack replies. "I either planted them too deep or too close together!"

Polacks have a speciality -- his was the farming of chickens. I am not against the pope, I am against the whole ideology that the pope represents. I am against the idea of God, I am against the idea of the son of God. I am against the idea that any human being is pretending to have a direct phone connection to God.

The whole Christian theology is so poor that if you understand religion a little bit, as an experience, you will be surprised that Christianity is counted as a religion at all. There is nothing religious in it. No meditation -- not a single pope has been enlightened. Even the man who created the whole of Christianity was not enlightened.

Christianity was not created by Jesus. He remained a Jew his whole life. He was born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew.

He never knew that he was a Christian. And he was not trying to create a new religion at all. There is not a single statement by him to that effect. He was continuously trying to prove himself a Jewish prophet for whom the Jews had been waiting for thousands of years, the awaited great prophet after Moses.

And the Jews were angry because of this. If he had created a new religion, there would have been no problem. If he had wanted to create a new religion, the Jews might have laughed at the whole thing, that a son of a carpenter whose birth is suspicious.... Holy ghosts don't exist, at least in Judaism -- some hooligan may have done the trick. They would have laughed, but because he was continuously harassing them to accept him as their prophet -- that was impossible.

Sometimes it is good to understand things from their background psychology. Why was it so difficult for the Jews to accept Jesus as their last prophet? Obviously he was not educated, he was not even a rabbi, he had no learning about the Jews' scriptures. At the most, he was suffering from megalomania. But these were superficial reasons to reject him.

The deeper reason is: the last prophet was their hope. And the hope was that the last prophet will redeem them from their misery, from their suffering. Jews have suffered more than any race in the world. And they were living with the hope that the last prophet will come one day and the coming of the last prophet will be the end of the dark night.

And they have believed -- because of Moses -- that they are the chosen people of God. And the chosen people of God having a carpenter's son as their last prophet, of whom it is well known that he is not the son of his own father.... Because he was born after the marriage but before nine months, so certainly he was not the son of Joseph!

Mohammedans never refer to Jesus as the son of Joseph. They also don't believe in the holy ghost.

The holy ghost has been invented by Christianity, just to cover up an old slander.

Mohammedans call Jesus, ibn Marian: Jesus, the son of Mary. This seems to be more sincere. They don't bring anything else into it, they simply drop Joseph out. One thing is certain -- that he is the son of Mary. The Arabic for Mary is Marian. And in Arabic, everybody has to write his name and his father's name. Because the father is uncertain they write Jesus' mother's name: Jesus Ibn Marian -- the son of Marian.

The Jews were hoping for a prophet, a great prophet who is going to deliver them from all their suffering. And Jesus was not doing anything to redeem them from all of their suffering. They could not accept him, because to accept him would have destroyed their hope. And that hope was the only thing they were living for. It is a very strange phenomenon.

Hymie Goldberg was on a ship -- his first journey -- and was suffering from sea sickness. The captain came to him and told him, "Don't be worried, because never in the whole history of shipping has anybody died of sea sickness."
Goldberg said, "Please don't say such a thing, because death is the only hope that I am living for, hoping that I will die. This sickness -- and you are telling me.... You think you are consoling me, but you are taking away my only hope."

Nobody wants to destroy their hope, because life is so empty.

We are filling it with hopes. The poor man is thinking he will become rich. The uneducated person is thinking if he cannot become educated, at least his children will become educated. But everybody is living through hope, because the present is absolutely empty. They can only imagine a fulfilled future.

Jesus did not give that fulfillment. That was given by the hope that one day the prophet will come. Of course, they will never accept anyone, because no man is capable of redeeming you from suffering; it is not only Jesus. Nobody else after him has tried, because seeing the result.... Otherwise, the Jews will crucify the other fellow also, because you cannot redeem anybody from his suffering.

It is a simple thing: everybody creates his own suffering and only he is capable of redeeming himself. You cannot throw the responsibility on some prophet who will come and redeem you from all misery, all anguish. And the Jews are utterly tired, but hope is the only light in their dark night. And Jesus wants to take away that hope also? This was the underlying psychology. They could not accept Jesus.

It is a strange thing that the founder of Christianity was a Jew who never knew anything about Christianity. He never founded it.

Christianity was founded by a man who was against Jesus.

His name was, in the beginning, Saul. And he was so much against Jesus that he was traveling towards Jerusalem to convert back people who had become Christians. Jesus was gone, he was dead. This man Saul was moving.... He was a fanatic Jew, and he wanted to change back those Jews who had been converted into Christians.

But something happened on the way. My own understanding is that it was a sunstroke, because he was a very violent and angry man, too hot. And the sun was too hot and he was passing through the desert, day and night moving towards Jerusalem. And one day, just in the middle of the day, when the sun was hottest and he was burning with a deep desire to convert back all the Christians, he got a double sunstroke. He fell into a coma.

And in his coma, he saw Jesus Christ. The reason is very simple: if you are so much against Jesus Christ you will be continuously thinking only of Jesus Christ. In that coma he saw Jesus Christ coming in all his glory. It was just a dream, but that transformed the man. He changed his name to make it a point that, "I am no more the same person." From Saul, he became Paul. And this Paul was the founder of Christianity. He was the first pope! A very strange pope.

I think between Paul and the Polack Pope, there is not much difference -- they are all living in a coma. But they have nothing to do with Jesus. I have a certain love for Jesus, although I cannot say he was an enlightened man -- but very close. He was just with the wrong kind of people. Always choose your company very intelligently.

He finally came to his senses after the crucifixion. He did not die on the cross, he escaped to India. His grave is here in Kashmir. I have been to his grave. It is strange that no Christian takes note of that grave. If they take any interest in the grave it will show that Jesus died here, and they believe that after resurrection he simply went to paradise. If they mean it symbolically -- Kashmir is known as the paradise of the earth -- that's perfectly true. He had come to paradise, but he did not fly towards the sky.

And he lived a long life -- one hundred and twelve years. But he had learned the lesson: one crucifixion is enough. And here in this country, everybody knows so much of spirituality that you cannot teach. At the most, you can become a disciple. There is no possibility of anybody becoming a master or a prophet or a savior. Here everybody, even villagers, nine hundred million people are spiritual prophets. Everybody knows the scriptures like parrots.

So coming to Kashmir with his small group of friends and fellow travelers, he simply remained silent, just working on those few people he had brought. The village is still in existence, because he used to call himself "the shepherd." In Kashmiri the word for "shepherd" is pahalgam. The village is called Pahalgam, the village of the shepherd. And you can see by the noses of the people you find in Pahalgam that once they were Jews. In fact, the whole of Kashmir was once Jewish.

It was a tribe.... Moses was taking them to Jerusalem, to Israel, not knowing himself where Israel was. For forty years they wandered in the desert.

The great prophet, Moses.... Almost seventy-five percent of his followers died in that forty-year tedious journey in the desert.

And I don't think they ever found Israel. What they found was a helplessness. Finally Moses was too old and not willing to search -- it is enough, he has searched enough. They settled on some land.... It was just to give a sense to his people. And they were no more his people, they were the third generation. And there was almost no relationship between Moses and the people he had brought.

Those who had come out of Egypt with him had died long before. And the young people were not very interested in his leadership, in listening to him. One tribe of the Jews had got lost in the desert. Just as an excuse, because he was feeling uneasy with his people.... They were new and young and they knew nothing about Moses or his miracles: that he had separated the ocean, that he had gone to see God and God gave him ten commandments -- they had not seen all this, they came afterwards.

Moses was not comfortable with them. So he said to them, "You settle and I will go look for where our one tribe has got lost." And that one tribe had reached Kashmir. In fact, Kashmir was a far better place than Israel. And when that last tribe found Kashmir, they really believed that this was the true holy place, so beautiful that there was no comparison in the whole world.

You will be surprised to know that Kashmir was Jewish, but Mohammedans forced all the Jews of Kashmir to be converted to Mohammedanism. But their faces, their noses, are so prominently declaring that they are not Mohammedans, they are not Hindus -- they are Jews.

And a strange coincidence: Moses died in Kashmir, and Jesus also died in Kashmir.

Both graves are in Pahalgam, just near a forest, and the family that still looks after those two graves is Jewish. That family has been looking after those two graves for generation after generation. Those are the only two graves in India on which the inscription is in Hebrew.

But Christians will not take note of it. I used to talk to Stanley Jones, one of the very famous Christian missionaries. And he said, "I can understand why you insist that I come with you, you want to show me. But we want to be clear with you, we don't want to see the grave of Jesus, because that will destroy our whole idea that Jesus was directly called by God to heaven."

People protect their superstitions and are not ready to encounter reality. And continuously for eighteen hundred years these popes have been protecting all kinds of Christian superstitions which don't correspond to reality.

I am not against them, I am not against anybody in the world personally. But I am against all kinds of prejudices, all kinds of nonsense, all kinds of rotten ideologies that go on existing in the name of religion.

I simply want religion to be purified. I want there to be no religions in the world, but only religiousness....

Just a quality, not any organized church. No holy scripture, but the whole of life holy, and everybody coming to a consciousness which transforms his actions, his being into religious qualities -- sachchidanand.

Everybody has to become the truth, the consciousness, and the bliss.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

OSHO : Sat Chit Anand, Chapter 17
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