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Chapter 1: An Individual and Private Experience

[Ed Bradley of the 60 minutes team visited Rancho Rajneesh in May to get footage for last Sunday’s program. Since it was not possible for him to interview Osho directly, he sent Osho a letter containing four questions. Osho gave his replies to the questions through his secretary and they were forwarded to Bradley.]

Are you God?

There is no 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.

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.

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.

What is enlightenment? You once said it was like chocolate. True? What will it do for the world?

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.

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.

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 we can infer through their words and acts:

Pope John Paul certainly is not enlightened and Rabbi Ba’al Shemtov is certainly enlightened.

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