rom the July Festival, 1985 onwards, Osho's discourses are held every morning in the Mandir (meditation hall), attended by twenty thousand people during the festival, and about eight thousand after.
Each evening from 17th July Osho gives interviews to the world press. These interviews are held in Jesus Grove, Sheela's residence, with a celebration of singing and dancing as Osho arrives and leaves. Some interviews are published under the title The Last Testament.
Why did You decide to speak to reporters?
I have never asked any "why" in my life. I simply do anything that I feel like doing. I am not a man of thinking. I function through my feelings. If I feel to stop speaking, I can stop in the middle of a sentence, I will not even complete the sentence. And if I want to speak, even from my grave I will continue.
Is there anything that You have to say to the media that You couldn't say through Your discourses or books? Do the reporters carry a message to the audience in America for You?
Certainly. Whatever I can say to my people, I say to them; but that is not going to reach to the people outside the commune. I would like them to be acquainted with what is happening here, and not to depend on rumors. I would like to invite them to be our guests, see our people, and see that there is a different way of life, too. last113
Is your talking to us this evening--is this part of a new tactic to reach people?
Everything I do is a certain device. Talking to you, too. I am involved in some great alchemical work of transforming people from their sleep into enlightened souls, and I have to try every kind of device possible.
This, too, is part of it. Everything that I say or do is part--organic part--of my whole work. And my work is to bring to people awakening on as big a scale as possible, as it has never happened before. last121
Is Your conveying what You have experienced also the reason why You are so available to the media nowadays?
Yes, because there are millions of people around the world who may not ever come in contact with me. But through the media many of them may get some glimpse. Few of them may even come.
And my message is not limited to any particular group of people. It is for all human beings as such. So I wanted to reach to all the nooks and corners of the world. And I am a contemporary man, so no need for me to go everywhere when media can take the message. That is far more easier. last404
You are being interviewed on a daily basis by the world media. What role does the media have in Your vision? Can somebody's life be changed by seeing You once on a television screen?
It is possible. Life functions very mysteriously. Just seeing a picture, reading a certain statement, seeing my face on the television, may prove the triggering point. There are millions of people in the world who are just on the borderline. A little push or a little pull and they will have crossed the line.
It is simply a matter of your heart being touched. It can be touched by anything, just my voice or just the gesture of my hand. It is unpredictable because what is going to happen to an individual's heart, what is going to touch it, is difficult to say. Perhaps my silence--the pause that always happens between two sentences, or sometimes even in the middle of a sentence--may stir something which is already there. Just a little push, a little pull, and the person will never be the same again.
And whatever he has tasted in that moment will grow, becoming a deep longing to come closer to me, to know more about me, to know more about the work that is happening, to know more about people who are around me. And these are the ways a person slowly enters into the energy field I am creating.
Talking to the world media is not just publicity. I have had enough of it. It is in fact using new methods of reaching people's hearts. So it does not matter what they ask, it does not matter what I answer. What matters is that people will be seeing my hands, my eyes, and they are bound to be affected--this way or that. Either they may fall into a certain love or they may start from that very moment to hate me. But whatever happens, hate or love, I have touched their heart.
To change their hate into love is not difficult. The most difficult thing was to reach to their heart, which has happened. Those who are in love will be looking for books, tapes, videos, and those who are in hate, they will also be looking for the same things.
And once a man becomes emotionally connected with me--as a friend, as an enemy--he is part of my people. The enemies also are part of me and my work. Sometimes they do more work than the friends, because they are continuously talking against me.
Listening to them, many people start thinking, "Why are you so disturbed? If you are against, forget about the man." But they cannot forget me either.
And the people to whom they are talking about me will become interested, just as a curiosity in the beginning, but to change curiosity into a longing, a desire, a search, is not difficult. It happens almost automatically. last221
Why have You called this series of talks to the world media The Last Testament?
The word testament is immensely significant. It is my testimony. I am speaking on my own authority. It is my experience....
This is my testimony, and I am speaking from my being--neither from the heart nor from the head. And because it is my testimony, I would like it to be called The Last Testament.
But remember, the last existed even before the first, because being is first, then comes the heart, then comes the head; without being, they are nothing. So although I am speaking thousands of years after the first testament, what I am saying is existentially far deeper, far greater. It transcends both the New Testament and the Old Testament.
I could have called it the Third Testament, but I am calling it The Last Testament for the simple reason that a fourth is not possible. There is nothing beyond being. So I am saying the last word. And it is time that the last word should be said....
I am saying that there is no God. I am simply removing the whole question. God with jealousy, God as love, but God remains. Both remain dependent on a father figure. I am declaring the maturity of man, that there is no need of any father figure. There is no God; and with him go heaven and hell, with him go all kinds of esoteric nonsense.
Once God is not there, reality, existence, feels so clean and so pure. And you suddenly feel so free that all bondages have disappeared. You need not be a theist, you need not be even an atheist. You are simply free from the very idea. It was just a projection of a helpless child. Man has come of age.
And whatever I am saying, there is no way to improve upon it. I have removed God, now what are you going to improve upon? Jesus improved. He changed jealousy into love. I have removed God himself. Now there is no question of any improvement.
Hence, I call it The Last Testament. I am going to cover slowly everything that is essential for the explosion of religious consciousness. I am going to destroy everything that is non-essential and a hindrance to religious consciousness.
I am taking the greatest risk anyone has ever taken. I am creating as many enemies as anyone has ever created, for the simple reason that I know what I am saying is not a quotation from a scripture. I am saying it on my own authority. It is my own truth, and truth knows no defeat.
The final victory is always going to be of the truth. last401
Next Friday we're trying to arrange with some of your sannyasins to hook up an interview with you by satellite to people in Seattle. We wouldn't be using any journalists then to condense your words or to edit you on tape or in the paper. We'll be able to allow the people in the Puget Sound area a chance to ask you questions and....
That's perfectly okay.
What do you hope to tell them? What impression would you like to leave with them?
Any question, because I don't have any secret to hide from anybody. So whatever they want to ask, they can ask.
What would you like them to know about you?
Anything they want. I should not dictate to them what they should ask me. They should ask out of their own freedom and I will answer out of my own freedom. last230
Please excuse me for asking a personal question.
There is no need to ask for any forgiveness. You can ask every question possible--personal, impersonal, it does not matter. I want to open myself completely to you. I want to be an open book, I don't want to keep any secrets from you. So it is perfectly right to ask the question. bond16
I apologize for some questions that probably You have answered so many times.
No problem. You just ask whatsoever you want, and in whatever way you want. And a question may have been asked thousands of times, but I have not given the same answer again and again and again. My answer has been a thousand times different. So you need not be worried; this is my business. You just ask.
That might be one of the reasons You're being judged by the public so controversially, because Your answers are not always the same on the same subjects.
But I am controversial! It is not a judgment of the public. It is the reality.
You say that it is not Your answer that changes, it is the reality that changes?
Yes. It is reality that changes, and I change with reality. I am certainly controversial. There is nothing wrong about the public thinking me controversial.
You're beyond all this controversy?
I just enjoy it. last102
I've only got about thirty or forty more questions. Maybe we go to a true/false format.
Next time. Next time, and till all your questions are finished, go on coming. And when all questions are finished, then what are you going to do? Be careful. last111
In America, hundreds of television reporters used to come, and their only complaint with me was: "What can be said in ten minutes you take twenty minutes. We have a limited time and we don't want to cut anything because whatever you are saying is so interconnected that if we cut anything it will be out of context. Why can't you speak like everybody else? Why do you suddenly become silent? You speak a word and then you leave a gap."
I said, "This is the way I am going to speak, because it is a question not only of speaking, it is a question of giving moments of meditation to the people who are listening to me.
"While I am speaking they are engaged, their minds are filled with me. When suddenly I stop for a moment, their minds also stop, waiting.... And those are the most beautiful moments, when they have a taste of meditation without knowing that they are meditating."
That's what has happened to you. You have been in touch with meditation up to now without awareness. From now on you have to be fully aware. Contentment and happiness indicate--they are symptoms that a change has started happening inside you. No need to force, just go on as you are, enjoying your contentment more, allowing the same situation in which it happens, relishing every bit of happiness that comes to you and watching when it comes, what is the situation in which it comes. So move in that situation more and more. No need to force meditation, no need to force anything. Simply create the right atmosphere in which those things start happening on their own. sword24
You know how television is, sometimes we have to condense things. So I would ask, and I hope I'm not being disrespectful, that we try to get some short answers....
You just give me the time...so I can give you the short answers.
Mm. I'll try to ask the best questions.
First, give me the time, how much time you want?
Well, usually twenty seconds to twenty-five seconds is the edited down portion of the answer. As you know, we do edit. But if you feel the need to expand a bit beyond that, please feel free. I understand.
Okay. You start.
What is your vision?...(jokingly, to immense laughter) In twenty-five seconds....
And you want it in thirty seconds....
...terrible challenge, isn't it?
Just then look at my eyes and you will get the answer. That is the shortest way. There are things which cannot be spoken, but which can be seen. There are things which explanations only explain away, but they can be felt, and felt so deeply that the fragrance of it remains forever.
So look into my eyes for the shortest answer. The silence, the depth, the joy, and ecstasy all are right now present before you. And I can see that you can see. I would not have answered that way to another journalist.
Well, thank you.
I can feel your heart. I can feel your loving being. I can feel your lifelong search. It is full of tears, sometimes of sadness, sometimes of happiness, but it has not come to an end. Still you have to go far. I can be of some help, just as a friend. I am nobody's master. That very word has ugly connotations.
What are you? Are you a teacher?
I am just a friend. last329
As far as I am concerned, talking is something spontaneous. If I am talking to you (sannyasins), I am talking in a very soft way. There is no need to be assertive, because you are receptive. The more receptive you are, the less is the need for me to be assertive.
But when I am talking to the journalists spontaneously I become very assertive, because only then can they listen; otherwise they are deaf. Every day they are doing articles, interviews with politicians and all kinds of people who are all afraid of them--afraid because they can destroy their image in the public opinion.
Many journalists have expressed the idea to me: "It is strange that we feel absolutely in control with politicians and with other kinds of people, interviewing them. With you we start feeling nervous. This never happens with anybody else, so why does it happen that we start feeling nervous?"
I said, "The only reason is that I don't care about my image. I don't care about your article; I don't care what you write. All that I care about in that moment is that whatever I am saying reaches to you. Other than that I have no concern. For seven years I have not read any book, any magazine, any newspaper, listened to the radio, watched television--nothing. It is all rubbish."
So when a journalist is asking me a question he has to be awakened to listen to it. He should not be in the same position as when he listens to a politician--and that makes me certainly assertive! You cannot reach to these people if you are soft and humble. That would look to them like weakness, because that's how they are accustomed to take politicians and others who are very humble and very soft and very willing to say what the journalist wants to listen to. They speak with a certain idea of what it is going to create as far as their image is concerned.
I don't have any image. So when I am talking to the journalist my effort is to reach him, not to reach the public. That is secondary. If it happens, good; if it doesn't happen there is no need to be worried about it.
And why are you afraid of people?
I have never felt like a stranger anywhere for the simple reason that wherever you are, you are a stranger, so what is the point of feeling it? Wherever you are, you cannot be otherwise; we are strangers. Once this is accepted then it doesn't matter where you are a stranger--in this place or in some other place. Your strangerness remains--somewhere more clear, somewhere a little clouded.
But why should you be afraid? The fear comes because you want people to think good of you. That's what makes everybody a coward. That's what makes everybody a slave, that people should think good of you. This is the fear: that in a strange place with strange people you may do something, you may say something, and they may not think it is good.
You always need to be appreciated because you have not accepted yourself. So as a substitute you want to be accepted by others. Once you accept yourself, it doesn't matter whether people think good of you or bad of you; that is their problem. It is not your problem. You live your life your way; now what others think is their problem, their worry.
But because you don't accept yourself--from the very childhood you have been constantly bombarded, continuously hammered that you are not acceptable as you are. You should behave this way, that way; then you can be accepted. And when people accept you, appreciate you, respect you, that means you are good. But this is creating the whole problem for everybody in the world: everybody becomes dependent on other people's opinions and everybody is dominated by other people's opinion.
Seeing this simple fact I dropped the idea of other people's opinion, and it has given such freedom to me that it is absolutely indescribable. Such a relief that you can be just yourself--you need not worry about it. And this world is so big, there are so many people. If I am to think about everybody and what he thinks about me, then in my life I will be simply collecting opinions of others about me, carrying files all around...
So if you feel afraid of going to people, meeting people, that means that you are feeling very empty, and this should not be. You should be overflowing with yourself, not with anybody's opinion or appreciation, but with your own life, with your own gusto.
And that's exactly what I mean--meditation gives you authority, power...not over others but simply a quality of power and quality of authority that nobody can take away from you. It is yours.
Public opinion can be taken away--today they are with you, tomorrow they are not with you. Today they are all appreciating you as a saint; tomorrow they are all condemning you as a sinner. It is better to be on your own--saint or sinner. Whatever you are, just be on your own so nobody can take it away.
It is better to be a sinner on your own than to be a saint on public opinion. That is borrowed, and you are empty. mystic09
I am notorious, but I enjoy it. I don't want to be respectable. To be respected by this mad humanity is insulting. last121
I have been surprised giving interviews to the journalists, seeing that they are so nervous. And this must have been their experience also...because whomsoever they go to interview is usually nervous about what they are going to ask. They may ask questions which may create trouble. They may ask questions that if he answers them, he will be exposed; if he does not answer them, then a great suspicion will arise. People are very much afraid of journalists, very nervous. With me the experience has been totally different. And I have told Isabel, "Now find all the journalists from all over the world, and bring each guy and I am going to give him a good heart attack. This will be his real experience of journalism." If I am open, you cannot expose me. If I am utterly available, if I put all my cards before you on the table, what can you do? In fact, they become nervous because they start feeling the truthfulness of what I am saying. They forget that they are here only as journalists. Their human being is also there in the same search as everybody else, in search of silence, serenity.
One journalist was here. His people wanted only a thirty-minute interview and it went on for two hours. His director was getting very disturbed, but the man forgot completely that he was only a journalist and he was to ask only questions in which the ordinary public and the audience would be interested. He became so involved personally, he started asking questions which were relevant to his growth. Of course the director was puzzled about what he was doing. They had prepared all the questions. He was given the list again and again, and he would hold the list, and carry on with me. last106
Osho, why is the media so nervous around You?
Because they have never come across a man like I am. The media knows politicians, popes, other kinds of leaders. They are all afraid of the media and nervous. The politician is nervous, he has reasons to be nervous. And the journalist is assertive and aggressive, and the politician is simply dodging and trying to save his skull....
So, naturally, the politician is nervous before the media.
I have no problem. I can say exactly what I want to say. All the media become nervous because they know they will not be able even to report the things I say, because if they take all these things to the editor, perhaps they may be thrown out of the job. They are nervous because what I am saying is also hurting their prejudices. They are human beings. First they are human beings, then they may be journalists; first Christians, then they may be journalists. And when I am hitting on Jesus they want to scream, but they cannot do that. Naturally, it becomes a nervous feeling. They forget to ask what they wanted to ask. They have never met a man like me who has nothing to lose, who can say anything, who does not belong to your society, who does not care about respectability.
Now the pope is continuously concerned that his respectability as the greatest religious leader in the world should not be affected by any statement. All his statements are prepared by other bishops, looked at by a committee, everything is edited. He is simply a spokesman, he is not speaking himself The whole church, the Catholic hierarchy is decisive. He has just to speak what they teach him, what they tell him to say.
Another fundamental reason they get nervous is that I am an absolutely free man. I don't care about contradicting myself, so they cannot put me into a corner by saying, "You said this fifteen years ago, now you are saying that." They cannot put me into any corner. I say forget it, to hell with those fifteen years. Whatever I am saying now is true now. Tomorrow I do not promise I will say the same thing, because I don't bother about consistency, about respectability, about what people will think. I have no reason to be nervous, I simply enjoy their nervousness.
It is strange, something new. The table with the water is placed by the side of the person who is being interviewed. When he feels nervous he can start drinking just to do something: get busy, forget nervousness, and meanwhile he has time also to think what to say next. Here it is just the opposite. The water and everything is placed by the side of the media. And I see them plucking grapes, taking water, tossing and turning in their chair, sometimes looking at the photographer, sometimes at the director. They will never forget the interview, because that kind of interview is never going to happen to them unless they come here again, to have another nervous breakdown.
But my work is first to give you a nervous breakdown, because only from there is there a possibility of a spiritual breakthrough. Breakdown to breakthrough, that's the whole story.