Chapter 10: To Listen to Me Is Dangerous
India is too poor to understand me, to be interested in me. Indians come here to stay for one day, two days - at the most three days. They come here only for one day, but they want to be treated like others. They feel very shocked when they come to know that I will not be initiating them myself, that some of my disciples will initiate them. They feel very shocked: Why this treatment with us? But you are staying only one day here. In the morning you come, you want sannyas in the evening, and tomorrow you are gone. And the people who have been here for six months meditating, going through dozens of growth groups, working hard, you want that you should be treated exactly like them. You may stay the same way, you go through the same processes, you risk as much as they risk - for that they are not ready. But they feel offended, that they should be given the same opportunity.
Again and again they write to me, “Westerners are sitting in front of you and we are told to sit at the back.” You should be happy that even you are allowed to sit at the back. Soon there will be no space at the back. You have to earn it. The people who are sitting in front of me have been here for six years, seven years. There are people who have come once and never gone again. They deserve it, they have earned it.
This is the first reason that I am talking about the highest form of religion; because I am talking about the whole world. To me, nations don’t mean anything, races don’t mean anything, colors don’t mean anything. I am talking about a New Man, which is going to be born, which has become almost an absolute necessity because without the New Man the humanity cannot survive anymore. The old is rotten, and we have to get rid of it; but before we get rid of the old the new has to be brought on the scene. My work here consists in giving birth to the New Man, to a new humanity.
The second reason why the Indians are afraid is that Indians already think they know, and they know nothing. They are simply carrying a dead heritage. They are very knowledgeable, they can recite the Gita and the Vedas and the Upanishads, parrotlike, not knowing what they are saying. They have not experienced those truths, but they can recite them like gramophone records. And because of this, they think they know what religion is. Why they should come here?
The West in that way is innocent, is not knowledgeable. It has a tremendous inquiry, but no blocks; it is ready to explore. The knowledgeable person is always willing to explore; he is always afraid because something may go against his knowledge. He would like truth to be according to him, not vice versa. He is not ready to be according to the truth - which needs guts, which needs an open mind.
In the East, particularly in India, people don’t have open mind at all. They have very closed minds. They are so full of holy cow dung that there is no space inside.
I can have an appeal only to those who are explorers, adventurers, inquirers, who are in a way innocent.
And the third reason. The third reason is concerned with those people who are neither poor nor knowledgeable. Why they are not coming here? There are rich people in this country. This is a country of contrasts: ninety-eight percent people are very poor, two percent people are very rich. Those two percent rich people are afraid to come, for the simple reason: just to be associated with my name is a danger. They write to me that, “We would like to come, but we are afraid.” Just to be associated with my name is dangerous. People will start talking to them, “So you have also become a victim? So you are also hypnotized? We had never thought that you are so mad, so crazy!”