Chapter 15: AIDS: No Ordinary Disease
Your monks eat food, they drink milk, they do everything that the body needs. Then the body produces everything that it has been producing for millennia. And the body has no way of knowing that you have taken a vow of celibacy. The body is neither Christian, nor Hindu, nor Mohammedan, and the body does not know whether you are a householder or a monk.
Secondly, all the religions have put their monks in one monastery, their nuns in another, and there is no way of meeting for man and woman. In the armies you are doing the same; in hostels, in schools, in colleges, in universities, it has been the routine. Now, all these are the places from where AIDS has arisen. Homosexuality is the source.
And the strangest thing is that now people like Falwell are saying that it is God’s punishment for homosexuals. If God is there, and if he has any sense of justice, then the punishment should be given to the popes, to the prophets, to the messiahs who have created this idea - a lunatic idea - of celibacy. And because of that idea, homosexuality came into being, sodomy came into being - and just now they have found three apes in Africa who have AIDS. The scientists thought that it is the apes who are spreading it. This is simple stupidity. It is not the apes who are spreading it; it must be man who has had intercourse with the apes. It is well known in remote corners of the world - in jungles, in mountains - that when people cannot get anybody else they make love to animals.
And it is not something new, it is coming from the Old Testament. A whole city called Sodom became interested in animals; that’s why the name sodomy.
Excuse me, can I change tapes?
If I may, I’d like to turn my question around perhaps. You said that two-thirds of the population will die of AIDS. Who will be the survivors? Who will be left?
People who want to survive will have to live like we are living, in a commune. Only in a commune is it possible to prevent the disease from spreading, to take every precaution. And only in a commune is it possible not to be afraid of being known to be suffering from the disease, because you are only a victim.
In my commune there are a few people who are suffering from AIDS, but they are getting more respect than they have ever got, and more love than they have ever got. And we are making every facility available to them: better houses, a more scenic place for them to live, because they are going to live only for a few months, or at the most two years - which is rarely possible, six months may be the most possible for them. For six months we can make their life as pleasant as possible. We can teach them meditations, we can help them to be silent - to prepare for death.