Chapter 25: The Only Alternative
Rock Star, Italy; Music Express, Germany, Netherlands; O’keg, Sweden; Music Man, Austria; Fi, England; Concrete, Mexico
When I came here I didn’t know what to expect, and I’m so taken, the last two days. I was really looking forward to finally talking to you - especially after discourse this morning. I greatly enjoyed it.
I’m working for twelve different magazines. I asked each magazine to submit one question, and roughly one-third are my own questions. I have about thirty questions, so if we can time it around that.some are very simple, some will be controversial, and I am told.
I will make the simple ones also controversial.
I appreciate that very much!
Several newspapers in New York reported that the number of Rajneeshees worldwide is declining, and that you’re running out of resources. After several years of silence you have started talking again and giving interviews. Is this part of a membership drive, or is it just your wish to communicate?
In the first place, sannyasins are increasing all over the world; there is no question of their decrease. Secondly, I don’t believe in converting anybody. I believe that the very effort to convert somebody is trespassing his freedom, his being. I can say what I want to say, but there is no effort to convert anybody to sannyas. In my whole life I have never converted a single person to sannyas. Although there are one million sannyasins around the world, they have all come to me of their own accord. And I am against all kinds of missionary work, conversion, making people Christians or Hindus or Mohammedans. Every individual has the right to be himself.
I can say to the person - not as an authority that, “I am the only begotten son of God, so you have to believe me, and unless you believe me you are lost. If you believe me you are saved.” These strategies are simply cunning, political, playing on man’s fear and greed; exploiting man, taking advantage of his innocence, ignorance.