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Chapter 17: You Just Need a Little Courage

Not only here - if five thousand people are arrested here, then the same is going to happen in every country. Sannyasins will offer their governments, “Either disconnect all connections with America, throw out the American embassies, or arrest us.” In every country thousands of sannyasins are going to do the same, because they feel the same as you feel. It is going to be a world-wide phenomenon.

To arrest me is not so simple. These politicians are just simpletons. But I welcome their idea. As far as I am concerned, I will really enjoy it.

In India I have been speaking against the politicians for thirty years, but they never tried to do any harm to me knowing perfectly well that doing any harm to me, means thousands of sannyasins around the country will be hurt.

We are nonviolent people. We cannot hurt anybody, but we can offer ourselves.

For thirty years they have not even tried any inquiry, any investigation. Even in the times of emergency rule in India it was more democratic than in America without emergency rule. All the ashrams were raided except my commune, for the simple reason that they understand me, and understood that it is better not to take such a risk. But these American politicians are not aware of me. It is a good chance to make them aware.

So only a few sannyasins will remain to take care of the commune; otherwise every sannyasin has to offer himself for voluntary arrest.

Is it just a coincidence that you started the neo-sannyas movement on September 26 and stopped it on the same day after fifteen years?

I have not stopped the sannyas movement; I have stopped it becoming a religion. A movement is a flux; that’s the meaning of movement - it is moving, it is growing. But a religion is dead - it has stopped moving, it has stopped growing. It is dead. The only place for it is in the crematorium. That’s where we had to take it. And we have celebrated the death of the religion - a religion which was not my idea.

I trust in sannyasins remaining individuals, I trust in their growth and movement; but I don’t like the idea of them becoming like Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists. That’s what was done while I was in isolation. In my absence, Sheela gathered around herself a fascist group and managed to cripple the sannyas movement, to make it dead, to make it a religion.

We have burned the religion - that does not mean we have burned our religiousness. That is a totally different thing.

Religiousness is like love - invisible, yet so tangible. You cannot explain it, but you can experience it.

Religiousness has been freed from a dead structure, a bondage that Sheela and her criminal group have put around it. Now you are not Rajneeshees. And I would like the press, the media to be kind enough not to refer to my people as Rajneeshees. They need some kind of reference - they can call them friends of Osho, and that will be absolutely right and appropriate.

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