I read an article about sannyasins in Germany. There were some things which struck me. The article said that for many sannyasins, sannyas seems to have changed into just a fashionable movement. The precautions you advised against Aids are no longer used by many sannyasins, who respond to the question, “Why not?” with the justification that these measures were one of Sheela’s power trips.
Some sannyasins have taken off their malas and their red clothes, and they ask other sannyasins who continue to wear them if it still means something to them. Some sannyasins seem to use your words to justify their egotistical behavior.
To me, it seems that not only your therapists but also a lot of other sannyasins are walking the so-called path of freedom that you talked of in connection with some of the sannyasin therapists. Osho, what is happening to sannyasins?
There are many questions in the question. First, the precautions for AIDS had nothing to do with anybody’s power trip. In fact, all the precautions that were taken in the commune are now being accepted by many governments of the world – exactly the same precautions. Even America is accepting the same precautions in many states – of course, without mentioning my name. There is not any courtesy anywhere. We were the first to introduce those precautions; they will be used all over the world because AIDS goes on spreading.
Just the other day, Anando informed me that they have found a new virus. The old AIDS virus is already there, but a new virus has also come into being which seems to be more dangerous because you cannot detect it in the blood. The first can be detected; the second has improved itself. You cannot find it so you will think it is not there. It will kill you and it will kill others with whom you are in contact.
But because I have dispersed the organized form of religion that had taken place because I was silent, now each individual is responsible for himself. There is no organized, centralized system which will be taking care of you. And that’s actually what freedom means: it means responsibility. But to the idiots it means licentiousness.
My effort was to give you more responsibility, more freedom. I allowed sannyasins…that it is up to them whether to use the mala or the red clothes. Those who had really understood have not changed anything; those who were reluctantly wearing the mala, forcing themselves to use the red clothes, they have dropped them. It is not a loss. I am relieved of a great burden of idiots who have come into the sannyas movement without understanding why they are joining it. And they must be telling others also to drop the mala, to drop the red clothes “because Osho has said it.”