osho on bhagwan

Question – Why do you call yourself Bhagwan? why do you call yourself God?

Osho – I AM — and because you are. And because only god is. There is no other way, there is no other way to be. You may know it, you may not know it. The only choice is between ignorance and knowledge. The choice is not between whether to be a god or not to be a god; the choice is whether to recognize it or not.

You can choose not to call, but you cannot choose not to be. But it has to be understood, because it is one of the most radical standpoints about life. Life is made of one stuff. Call it god, call it matter, call it electricity. One thing is certain — that life consists of only one stuff.

At the deepest, life is one unity. You can call it whatsoever you like. Scientists used to call it matter, now they have decided to call it electricity. Religious people decided to call it god, non-religious people decided to call it the world. But one thing is certain — that there exists only one thing. Now, calling it A, B, C, does not matter.

Whatsoever you call it, it does not change the reality, but it can change you. It will show your attitude. A person who calls the world matter, cannot grow. He has dropped all future possibilities. He has closed his door. He has denied his destiny. Now he has no opening — he is a windowless atom, a monad… closed, going nowhere.

Because matter cannot have any destiny, matter cannot have any growth. Matter cannot have any potentiality. Matter cannot have any experiencing. The moment you say that life is nothing but matter, it does not change life. Because you call it matter, it does not become matter, but by calling life matter, you become a closed thing.

By calling life matter, you become a thing. You lose your personality you lose that throb of aliveness. Something inside you suddenly goes dead. Then you are a grave; you will drag. The dance will be lost. Your life will become more like prose, it will not have any poetry then. When you call this life god, you bring poetry to it. You bring a vision, you open doors.

You say, ‘More is possible.’ You say, ‘We are not the end.’ Higher realms of possibilities arise in your vision. You start dreaming. The moment you say this existence is divine, dreams become possible. Then you can live a life of adventure: God is the greatest venture, it is the greatest pilgrimage. Calling existence divine, you bring something new to your vision.

Then you are not finished, then you are not a full stop. Then you are a rushing river moving towards the ocean. By calling existence divine, you bring dynamism to your life. Then you are not stale, stagnant. Then fantastic possibilities are there. Just courage is needed, and you can go on and on… and there is no end to it. There are only two ways to give a label to life.

One is the way of the realist — he calls it matter. The other is the way of the poet, the dreamer — he calls it god. I am an unashamed poet. I’m not a realist. I call myself god, I call you god, I call rocks god, I call trees god, and the clouds god…. The whole consists of only one stuff and I have chosen to call it god, because with god you can grow, with god you can ride on great tidal waves; you can go to the other shore. God is just a glimpse of your destiny.

You give personality to existence. Then between you and the tree it is not emptiness. Then between you and your beloved it is not emptiness — god is bridging everything. He surrounds you, he is your surround. He is within and he is without. When I call myself god, I mean to provoke you, to challenge you. I am simply calling myself god so that you can also gather courage to recognize it.

If you can recognize it in me, you have taken the first step to recognizing it in yourself. It will be very difficult for you to recognize it in yourself, because you have always been taught to condemn yourself. You have always been taught that you are a sinner. Here I am to take all that nonsense away. My insistence is that it is only one thing that is missing in you — the courage to recognize who you are.

I call myself god to help you, to give you courage. If this man can be a god, why not you? I’m just like you. By calling myself god, I am not bringing god down, I am bringing you up. I am taking you for a high journey. I’m simply opening a door towards the himalayan peaks. Once you start recognizing that you are also divine, you become unburdened.

Then there may be errors, but there are no sins any more. You are not a sinner. You may be mistaken, you may be wandering on astray paths, but you are not a sinner. Whatsoever you do, you cannot lose your godhood — that is your nature. You can be a sinner, but still you cannot lose your godhood. Then, by becoming a sinner, your god becomes a sinner, that’s all.

You can be a fool, but that simply shows that god within you has chosen to play the game of being a fool, that’s all. Millions of forms, but all forms divine. Millions of forms, all complementing each other and making this whole world a great cosmos. Calling myself god, I am just hinting something to you. I’m not interested in what you call me — that is pointless.

It is just indicative, a gesture. I’m saying to you, ‘Look at me! I’m just like you. If I can recognize the divinity within me, if I can respect my own being, why not you? Be respectful towards your own being.’ It is not going to help that you go and worship a stone in the temple unless you start worshipping yourself, unless you start being respectful to your own being, unless you feel reverence for your own existence… that’s what I mean when I call myself god.

I respect my being. I don’t feel any condemnation about me. I am happy as I am. I am tremendously happy as I am. I am tremendously grateful as I am. The indian term for god, Bhagwan, is even better than god. That word is tremendously meaningful. It simply means ‘the blessed one’ nothing else. Bhagwan means ‘the blessed one’ — one who is fortunate enough to recognize his own being. It has no christian associations.

When you say ‘god’, it seems as if I have created the world. I deny all responsibility! I have not created this world. I am not that much a fool. The christian idea of god is one who has created the world. Bhagwan is totally different. It has nothing to do with creating the world. It simply says one who has recognized himself as divine. In that recognition is benediction.

In that recognition is blessing. He has become the blessed one. You can also become. If I can become, why not you? Nothing is lacking — just a courage to penetrate your own soul, just a courage to enter yourself. You have been taught to be sinners — condemned crushed, crawling on the earth. Your wings have been cut and destroyed. Calling myself Bhagwan, I would like simply to say to you to gather courage, reclaim your wings… the whole sky is yours.

But without wings it is not yours. Reclaim your wings and don’t allow anybody to condemn you. Respect yourself! If you cannot respect yourself, you cannot respect anybody else. When you respect yourself, a great respect arises. Then you respect the tree, the rock, the man, the woman, the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars. But those ripples of respect arise only when you have started respecting yourself.

I call myself Bhagwan because I respect myself. I am tremendously fulfilled as I am. I am the blessed one. I have no discontent. That is the meaning of Bhagwan — when you have no discontent, when each moment of your life is a fulfillment… when you don’t desire anything in the future; your present is so full, overflowing… when there is no hankering. That’s why we call Buddha Bhagwan. He has denied god in his cosmology.

He says there is no god, no creator. Christians become very puzzled when Buddha says there is no god, no creator. Then why do Buddhists call him Bhagwan? Our meaning of Bhagwan is totally different. We call him Buddha, Bhagwan, because he has now no more desires. He is contented. He is happy and at home. He has come home — that is his blessedness. Now there is no conflict between him and existence.

He has fallen in accord, in harmonia. Now he and the whole are not two separate things. They vibrate in the same way. He has become part of the orchestra of the whole. And by becoming a part of this great orchestra of stars and trees and flowers and winds and clouds and seas and sands, he has become blessed — we call him Bhagwan.

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