ED BRADLEY OF THE 60 MINUTES TEAM VISITED RANCHO RAJNEESH (Rajneeshpuram) in Oregon in May, 1982, when Osho was in silence. He forwarded four questions to Osho who sent these short replies by letter. The answers still seem to us to have force and are worthy of comment. (SN)
Q: ARE YOU GOD?
Osho: There is not God, hence the question does not arise. “Bhagwan” does not mean God, it simply means “The Blessed One.” The very idea of God is non-democratic. Either everything is God or nothing is God.
Q: IN A LETTER TO WILLIAM JAMES, OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES WROTE: “THE GREAT ACT OF FAITH IS WHEN A MAN DECIDES THAT HE IS NOT GOD.” PLEASE COMMENT.
Osho: Faith has nothing to do with religion. Faith is rooted in believing in something you know nothing of. It is a way of covering your ignorance. Religion is not belief or faith but knowing. The whole of human history has been ninety-nine-point-nine percent just stupid — because of faith. But all the so-called religions preach it, because that is the easiest way to exploit.
Neither William James knows anything about religion, nor Wendell Holmes.
Q: WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT? YOU ONCE SAID IT WAS LIKE CHOCOLATE. TRUE?
Osho: Enlightenment is coming to know that there is nothing to know. In other words, existence is a mystery and there is no way to demystify it. To know it and to live it is not intellectual; it is a taste — hence I have called it like chocolate. Either you have tasted it or you have not tasted it. There is no position in between.
Q: ALL OF THE FOLLOWING, LIKE YOU, WERE OR ARE ABLE TO STRONGLY INFLUENCE THE MASSES. WERE OR ARE ANY OF THEM ENLIGHTENED? — POPE JOHN PAUL, RABBI BA’AL SHEMTOV (THE ‘MASTER OF THE GOOD NAME’ WHO TAUGHT THAT MAN REACHES GOD THROUGH JOY RATHER THAN SORROW), MARTIN LUTHER KING, HITLER.
Osho: Religion is absolutely an individual and private experience, like love. In fact, there is no way to know whether Hitler knew any experience of love or not. At the most through their words and acts we can infer:
– Pope John Paul certainly is not enlightened.
– and Rabbi Ba’al Shemtov is certainly enlightened.
– Martin Luther King is a good man, but not enlightened.
– and, of course, Hitler is not and cannot be enlightened.
The really enlightened person has no desire to influence the masses. If they are influenced, that is another matter: “The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflections; the water has no mind to receive their image.”