Seven years ago I took sannyas. You spoke to me about the witness and about watching. When you finished, and before I could leave, you stopped me and said, “And you’re a good man.”
Your love and your grace have been with me these seven years, Osho. I am still in wonderment: what is a good man?
Veet Mano, I remember I have said to you, “You are a good man,” because I have given you the name, Veet Mano. Veet Mano means going beyond the good man.
Morality is concerned with good qualities and bad qualities. A man is good – according to morality – who is honest, truthful, authentic, trustworthy. But morality is not religion; even an atheist can be a good man, because all these qualities of the good man do not include godliness.
I have told you, you are a good man; so the work for you is not just to be good, but to transcend the duality of good and bad. The religious man is not only a good man, he is much more. For the good man, goodness is all; for the religious man, goodness is just a by-product. The religious man is one who knows himself, one who is conscious of his own being. And the moment you are conscious of your own being, goodness follows you like a shadow. Then there is no need of any effort to be good; goodness becomes your nature. Just as the trees are green, the religious man is good.
But the good man is not necessarily religious. His goodness is out of great effort, he is fighting with bad qualities – lying or stealing, untruthfulness, dishonesty, violence. They are in the good man but only repressed – they can erupt any moment.
The good man can change into a bad man very easily, without any effort – because all those bad qualities are there, only dormant, repressed with effort. If you remove the effort they will immediately erupt in your life. And your good qualities are only cultivated, not natural: you have tried hard to be honest, to be sincere, not to lie – but it has been an effort, it has been tiring.
The good man is always serious, because he is afraid of all the bad qualities he has repressed; and he is serious because deep down he desires to be honored for his goodness, to be rewarded. His longing is to be respectable. Your so-called saints are mostly just good men.
I have given you the name: transcend the good man – and there is only one way to transcend the good man, and that is by bringing more awareness to your being.
Awareness is not something to be cultivated; it is already there, it has just to be awakened. When you are totally awakened, whatever you do is good, and whatever you do not do, is bad. The good man has to make immense efforts to do good and to avoid the bad. The bad is a constant temptation for him. It is a choice: every moment he has to choose the good, and not to choose the bad.