That’s all that I have done by declaring that I am a Bhagwan – that all the headaches have disappeared, that there is no anxiety in me, no anguish, no desire, no longing for anything, that I am perfectly at ease, relaxed with existence, totally at home.
And these people go on criticizing me for being a self-styled Bhagwan… But so was Krishna. Now, Hindus don’t criticize Krishna. Who appointed Krishna? He declared himself.
The Upanishadic seers declared themselves. Do you think there was a committee to appoint: “Yes, this man can declare, ‘Aham brahmasmi, I am the ultimate truth’”?
Who appointed Jesus Christ? Do you think that a committee of the great rabbis of Jerusalem decided, voted in favor that Jesus was the only-begotten son of God, that he was a Christ? They were against his declaration. They thought he was a charlatan, that he was a deceiver, and they punished him for that.
Who declared Buddha to be a God? It is such simple arithmetic. Do you think ignorant people can declare Gautam Siddhartha a buddha? Do you think blind people can decide about the man, whether he has eyes or not? How can the blind decide? They themselves don’t have eyes, so how can they see whether anybody else has eyes or not?
It has always been a self-styled phenomenon. One has to declare oneself; nobody else can do it. It cannot be done on my behalf by anybody else. So I say it again that I am Bhagwan. But Bhagwan does not mean God – or, if you love the word God, then Bhagwan simply means godliness.
Obviously, when you have become absolutely blissful, that blissfulness is divine, it is godly. There is nothing more godly than blissfulness because out of that blissfulness many flowers blossom: love, freedom, deathlessness. It becomes the source of all the values, of all that is good. It is the summum bonum, the ultimate good.
So, let those blind people go on criticizing – it makes no difference. They are simply trying to console themselves that they are not missing anything. They cannot accept Buddha, Christ, they cannot accept me, for the simple reason that to accept me means accepting a challenge, a great challenge. Accepting me means that now you have to start working upon yourself. Then you cannot take life for granted anymore. Then your life has to go through a radical change, a revolution. You have to be born anew.
The easier way is to deny, to say, “This man is deceiving!” This is very simple – anybody can do it. And by denying that anybody has attained godliness, blissfulness, ultimate freedom, truth, you can again relapse into your sleep, you can again fall back into your unconsciousness.
You ask: “Why do people criticize you as self-styled and a self-appointed god?” Nobody else can be a witness to my inner bliss. If I have a headache only I know about it; nobody else can know it. When the headache disappears, I have to declare that it has disappeared; nobody else can declare it. Do you think a committee is needed to decide whether I have a headache or not? Do you think that a vote is needed – that the country has to vote on it, whether I have a headache or not? Only I can declare whether I have come home or not; no committee can do it, no vote can decide it. It is an absolutely individual affair. It is nobody else’s business at all. If I do not have a headache, shouldn’t I declare that I don’t need any aspirin anymore?