Osho on Buddha in Jail

Question : Beloved Bhagwan, can a buddha like you be in prison? I am not able to understand.
Osho : I can understand your difficulty. But it seems you are not aware of the history of human consciousness. Socrates is poisoned, and he is a Buddha. Gautam Buddha himself died out of food poisoning. Al-Hillaj-Mansoor, one of the greatest Sufi mystics, is killed by the fanatic Mohammedans. Sarmad, another man of immense experience of the ultimate truth, is killed again by the fanatic people, the orthodox, the traditional.

Many attempts were made on the life of Buddha to kill him. It is not a new thing. It is as old as man himself. You have always treated your highest expressions with inhumanity. While they are alive, you try to kill them, and when you have killed them, then you start worshipping them. Your worship is nothing but to cover your guilt.

Many attempts have been made on my life; just seven years before in a morning discourse, ten thousand sannyasins were present, and the police was informed by some anonymous person that a group of fanatics is going to make an effort to kill Bhagwan. So twenty top police officers rushed to the place where I was speaking. In their presence, and in the presence of ten thousand sannyasins, a knife was thrown at me. The man missed the target. But the police caught him red-handed. Ten thousand eye witnesses, it is almost impossible to find for any attempt on life, and twenty police officers. They got hold of the knife, and it was a police case. Still the man was set free, and the magistrate gave the judgment that no attempt on life is being made.

But he must have felt guilty, because through a common friend, a doctor, he informed me that please forgive me. I am a poor magistrate. The pressure of political parties over me is too much. They want the man to be freed. I know the attempt has been made, and there cannot be more solid evidence — ten thousand eye witnesses, and twenty top police officers also witnesses. But the politicians will destroy me. I have to listen to them. So just please forgive me.

What happened in America with me is nothing new. It has always been happening. You have to understand one thing, that whenever there is somebody who has a message for you, which goes against your traditional ways, your orthodoxy, your conditioning, then your whole priesthood, your politicians, the status quo, all the vested interests are against such a man. For the simple reason because he is a disturbance. If people listen to him there is going to be a revolution. And that revolution will change everything. It will throw those who are in power. It will throw those priests who are dominating you.

Naturally those who are in power would not like it. It is better to finish one man rather than to loose all their vested interests. Why they crucified Jesus? He has not committed any crime. He was a simple man. He has not done anything illegal. But why they insisted to kill him? For the simple reason he was upsetting the whole society. He was saying things which go against the past, which go against the old, which bring some new light, which take you into the unknown. He is opening doors for progress. And there are people who don’t want any progress. They want a static society, a dead society. And these people are in power.

Naturally, every Buddha has to go to jail, and every Buddha has to be killed or crucified. Twenty five centuries have passed since Socrates was poisoned, but nothing has changed. Against Socrates, there was no crime. They invented a bogus thing against him; that was that he corrupts the minds of young people. He was giving the new people new insights. He was giving more intelligence to people. He was making them aware what is wrong in the old, rotten society, and how it can be changed. But the old society thinks this is corruption. He is dangerous. He should be removed, before it is too late.

I had not done any crime; my only crime in America was, what Christian missionaries have been doing for centuries all over the world. They have been converting people into Christianity. But the people they convert into Christianity are the orphans, the beggars, the poor, the starving, the aboriginals. They have not been successful to convert a single cultured, educated, high-class individual anywhere in the whole world.

Their problem was that I was attracting the cream of the society; the people who had become part of my commune were doctors, engineers, electronic engineers, scientists, professors, legal experts, surgeons, educationists. That was the shock to the fanatic Christians. They have not been successful in the world to change a single educated man to Christianity. And I have taken their best people out of their fold. This was my crime.

Ronald Reagan, the President of America, is a fanatic Christian. He is a fundamentalist Christian. And he wants America to be a Christian country, and the pressure of him and the Christian priests was that a man like me is dangerous; because I am influencing the highest intelligentsia of the country. And if it goes on, it is going to destroy the very roots of Christian religion. That was the reason why they arrested me without any warrant. They could not show even what is the cause for which they are arresting me. It was simply a joint effort of the Christianity and the politicians to destroy a commune which was the first effort ever made, and it was so successful that anybody who had come to the commune was immediately convinced of its potentiality, of its power, of its future. It was almost a dream come true. The Christian priest was afraid about his Christianity, and the politician was afraid because I am not a politician. And the people who have joined me are not political.

I want human beings to be absolutely free of politics, and free of orthodox, traditional, dead religions. Each individual should find his own truth. There is no need for any priest to become a mediator between him and truth.

But they cannot prevent me. I am going on a world tour. In fact, they have allowed me more scope. I was working in America; they should have remained silent. That would have been more favorable to them. Now the whole world is available to me. I am going on a world tour to every country of the world. And the people in America who are interested in me can meet me anywhere. I will be around America, on every island. I cannot enter America, but Americans can come out. I have my own ways. It is not easy to defeat me.

But I can see your question has a point; the point is that you expect that a Buddha should be something superhuman. He cannot be jailed. He cannot be killed. He cannot be poisoned. These are your superstitions. No buddha is superhuman. Every buddha is as much human as you are. It is your potentiality. You can become a Buddha any moment you decide. It is a question of decision.

But we have been told, and we have accepted it because it is very consoling, if somebody says to you, “You can become a buddha,” you say, “How I can become a buddha. A buddha is a special superhuman being. I am an ordinary human being.” And to create this idea, stupid stories have been invented. I will tell you few stories that can make it clear.

Buddha is born when his mother is standing; no mother gives birth to a child standing. Have you seen any woman giving birth to a child standing? And the story does not stop there. Buddha is born from the mother’s womb, himself standing on the floor. And the story still does not end. He walks seven feet; just born baby walks seven feet, and declares to the whole world that I am the greatest buddha, the suprememost that has ever been or that will ever be. Now, this is all nonsense. No gynecologist will support this. And how a just-born baby can walk, and can talk. But this is just to create the idea in your mind that Buddha is special.

Mahavira does not perspire. He is a special human being. He is not just like you. Now this is impossible unless, instead of skin he has plastic. Perspiration is an absolute necessity. You can ask any physiologist, that without perspiration you cannot live. It is a protection against death, because for life your temperature has to remain exactly the same. When it is too hot, and you don’t perspire, your inner temperature will go on higher and higher; and your life span as far as temperature is concerned is not very big. From ninety-eight to one hundred ten, only twelve degrees; that is your life span, twelve degrees. And if the heat is too much, and you don’t perspire, you will die out of your own inner heat.

Perspiration is a tremendous strategy of nature. It releases water from every pore of your body, so the heat of outside becomes involved in evaporating the perspiration. It does not reach to you. Perspiration prevents the heat from reaching to you. It keeps your temperature exactly the same — whether it is cold or hot outside, your inner temperature has to remain the same. Now Mahavira does not perspire.

Why such stories are invented? Just to make you feel inferior, and to make these people feel superior; to create a gap. That gap is not helpful, that gap is dangerous, because that gap makes you remain what you are. You start thinking, what can I do? Mahavira is a special person, Buddha is a special person. Jesus is the only begotten son of God. You are not son of God. You are son of a poor man, just ordinary like you.

Jesus is the son of a virgin woman. Now that is absolutely idiotic. Virgin girls don’t give birth to people. But Jesus has to be separated from the ordinary humanity. This keeps him above, and it has kept humanity crawling on the ground, feeling that this is our faith, our destiny. We cannot go above where we are. We are not born of a virgin mother, we are not the only begotten son of God. We perspire, we need deodorant. We are ordinary human beings, mortals. We cannot become the awakened ones, the buddhas.

But I say to you, all these stories are false, they are invented. And they have cheated you for centuries, and you have to destroy all these stories. And remember one fact: that everybody was a human being just like you, so that you can also aspire to reach to the stars. There is no need for you to remain crawling on the earth. You can also become a buddha. You can also become a Socrates. You can also become a Mohammed. Nobody is preventing you except your own ideas that you have collected from the society, from the priests; and all those ideas are poisonous. They are killing you, and they are preventing you from growing, expanding, attaining to higher states of consciousness.

I say unto you that to be a buddha is your potentiality. If you don’t claim it, except you nobody else is responsible. And no special quality is needed to become a buddha. All that is needed is to be more alert, to be more conscious, to be more calm, to be more silent, to be more peaceful, to be more compassionate; and all these things are possible for you. Not to perspire is not possible for you, but to be compassionate is possible for you. To be kind and to be loving is possible for you.

I am bringing Buddha within your reach, and that hurts. That hurts every priest of every religion. Because he has made Krishna, Rama, Mahavira, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, so special and so far away from you, so superhuman, it is a need for the priest to make the ideals far away from you, so he can settle in between you and the buddha; he can become the mediator, the agent.

If there is no difference between you and buddha, then the priest and his profession is finished. Then there is no need for popes, bishops, ministers, Shankaracharyas. What is the need? You can manage it yourself. And they have not been of any help. Twenty five centuries have passed since Buddha and there have been almost half of the humanity buddhist. How many buddhas they have created? Now half the humanity is Christian. How many Christs they have created in two thousand years? Can’t you see the failure of your priesthood, your churches, your temples, your mosques? They have utterly failed. Five thousand years have passed since Krishna; and all the Hindu priests and all their rituals have been gone down the drain. They have not been able to produce another Krishna. So what is the point? This priesthood is an unnecessary load. These people are exploiting your blood. They are parasites, not priests.

But when you say any truth like that, you endanger yourself. As I entered Nepal, my friends told me immediately, “Don’t say anything against Hinduism.”
I said, “Why?”
They said, “This is a Hindu kingdom.”

To them I said, “Okay.” But to myself I said, if this is a Hindu kingdom then I have to say something against Hindu priests. Because what is the point of saying something against the Christian priests. For that I am going to Italy from here directly, to encounter the Pope in his own land. I have been challenging him for a public debate, and he has been like a coward, remained silent. Now I am going exactly to Rome, and challenge him there in his own country.

These people are all around, in different names, and whenever there will be someone who can create a rebellion, and change the deadness in which the society has fallen, and make people alive again, they are bound to be angry. They would like such a man to be jailed, to be poisoned, to be killed, to be removed. His presence is too dangerous.

But I want these people to remember that you can kill me. But you cannot kill my spirit. Jesus is crucified, but his spirit became more solid a phenomenon through crucifixion, crucifixion has not finished Jesus. In fact, crucifixion made Jesus a historical event, a milestone. So I am not worried about when I am going on a world tour, it can turn out to be a world tour in different jails. I would love it. It will be a great experience to see different countries, their different ways of harassment, cruelties, inhumanities. I will be enriched by it.

Your question is simply because you expect something from people like Buddha, something superhuman. For example, the story is if Buddha sits under a tree, and it is not the season for the tree to blossom in flowers, but when Buddha sits under the tree, the tree blossoms immediately into flowers. I don’t believe.

I have tried sitting under trees. They don’t blossom. Do you think trees are more intelligent than man? It is said that a serpent bites on Mahavira’s feet, and instead of blood milk flows out. I was speaking with a Jaina monk, who spoke before me, and he prays that Mahavira was a superhuman being. Even when a snake bites him, blood does not come out of his feet, but milk. After him I had to speak. I said this is possible only in two ways: one that in Mahavira’s body there is no blood, it is filled with milk. But that milk would have turned into curd long before. He will be stinking of curd. Second possibility is that Mahavira’s feet has the same kind of mechanism that a mother’s breast has. Then it is possible that milk can come out. But to think that his feet has a breast in it does not make Mahavira special. It makes the snake very intelligent. He finds the right place.

Just your expectations. Otherwise, they are all human beings. Just like me and you. The only difference is, they are awakened and you are asleep. But you can become awakened any moment.

Source – Osho Book “The Last Testament, Vol 5”