Just the other day I received a letter – and I receive letters almost every day – from a famous Indian film actor, Shashi Kapoor. He had come to see me for ten minutes, one time only, in 1970. After that I remained in Bombay…where he lives and has his studio and produces his films; he is one of the topmost film people in India. After that I lived for four years in Bombay – he never came back. For seven years I lived in Pune; he never came to see me – and he was always coming to Pune to shoot his films.
On the contrary, he was telling people everything possible against me. I came to know it because he was working as the hero in Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha, which was being made into a film. Some English producer wanted to see me, and Shashi Kapoor was his hero. Kapoor discouraged him; he said, “There is no need. This man was really “Bhagwan, the blessed one” before he was known as Bhagwan. Since he became known as Bhagwan and he has not denied it, he has fallen. He is no longer in the same state of consciousness.”
So he was very much against me being called Bhagwan. He wanted me to make a public statement that I am not what people think I am. It was really a dilemma for me. I can say that, but it will be a lie. I don’t want anybody to call me anything, but specifically to say that I am not the blessed one would be to lie. And that I cannot do.
Yesterday I received his letter. He is now in great financial trouble; four million dollars he needs. Now he remembers me. This was the situation in India, this is the situation here. Now he is immensely interested – but the interest is not in me, the interest is in four million dollars. Now he knows that this is one of the richest communes in the world. We have already poured into this Big Muddy Ranch almost two hundred million dollars, so naturally he can think that four million dollars is nothing for us.
But to approach me for finances is idiotic. I don’t possess anything, I am the poorest man. In fact, if blessed are the poor, then the Ethiopians should remember I will be first in the queue, because howsoever poor they may be they must possess something. I don’t possess anything. I simply use things, I don’t possess them. You cannot find another man as poor as me.
For almost thirty years I have not had any pockets because there is nothing to keep; I told my tailors, “Drop the pockets, because unnecessarily some pickpocket may follow and waste his time – he would finally find an empty pocket, because I don’t have anything. I don’t need pockets even to keep my hands in, because if I keep my hands in the pockets then I cannot talk. Pockets are absolutely useless. “So for thirty years I have not been having any pockets. I don’t possess a single cent.
But the Indians are poor. Their religion today – I am not talking about their past – is a poor religion. They go to the temple to ask God for something. And whenever you go to the temple or the church to ask, that’s an indication of a false religion. Whenever you go to the temple to give something then it is the sign of a real religion.
The authentic religion has nothing to ask.
It has much to share, much to give.