The Indian term for God, bhagwan, is even better than God. That word is tremendously meaningful. It simply means “the blessed one” nothing else. Bhagwan means “the blessed one” – one who is fortunate enough to recognize his own being.
It has no Christian associations. When you say “God,” it seems as if I have created the world. I deny all responsibility! I have not created this world. I am not that much a fool. The Christian idea of God is one who has created the world. bhagwan is totally different. It has nothing to do with creating the world. It simply says one who has recognized himself as divine. In that recognition is benediction. In that recognition is blessing. He has become the blessed one.
You can also become. If I can become, why not you? Nothing is lacking – just a courage to penetrate your own soul, just a courage to enter yourself. You have been taught to be sinners – condemned crushed, crawling on the earth. Your wings have been cut and destroyed.
Calling myself Bhagwan, I would like simply to say to you to gather courage, reclaim your wings…the whole sky is yours. But without wings it is not yours. Reclaim your wings and don’t allow anybody to condemn you. Respect yourself! If you cannot respect yourself, you cannot respect anybody else.
When you respect yourself, a great respect arises. Then you respect the tree, the rock, the man, the woman, the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars. But those ripples of respect arise only when you have started respecting yourself.
I call myself Bhagwan because I respect myself. I am tremendously fulfilled as I am. I am the blessed one. I have no discontent. That is the meaning of Bhagwan – when you have no discontent, when each moment of your life is a fulfillment…when you don’t desire anything in the future; your present is so full, overflowing…when there is no hankering.
That’s why we call Buddha Bhagwan. He has denied God in his cosmology. He says there is no God, no creator. Christians become very puzzled when Buddha says there is no God, no creator. Then why do Buddhists call him Bhagwan?
Our meaning of Bhagwan is totally different. We call him Buddha, Bhagwan, because he has now no more desires. He is contented. He is happy and at home. He has come home – that is his blessedness. Now there is no conflict between him and existence. He has fallen in accord, in harmonia. Now he and the whole are not two separate things. They vibrate in the same way. He has become part of the orchestra of the whole. And by becoming a part of this great orchestra of stars and trees and flowers and winds and clouds and seas and sands, he has become blessed – we call him Bhagwan.
Go on this adventure. Once you use a certain word, that word creates many things – words are very creative. If you call the world just matter, that very word pulls you down. So there is nothing else? just matter? Then all else that looks superior to matter must be illusory.