KATU TV, Channel 2, Portland, Oregon, United States
We appreciate your taking the time out to speak with us this afternoon.
What is it about you, what is it about your religion, that people find so appealing? We see people here that we think are like ourselves, and see what they have here, and we ask ourselves, what is it about you and this place that is so attractive to people?
It is very simple, I am so ordinary a man that nobody can feel any inferiority with me. All the so-called religious leaders of the world were nothing but egoists, making everybody feel inferior, guilty, sinners. I don’t make anybody feel guilty; if he feels guilty already, just coming to me his guilt disappears. I transform sinners into saints instantly, and that’s what appeals to them – that I am one of them, and they’re my fellow travelers, not my followers.
I am nobody’s leader; they are not sheep and I am not their shepherd, I am just a human being, as they are. And my emphasis is that every human being has the birthright to become enlightened, this is nothing special.
When we see the people who are part of the commune and who subscribe to your way of life, they seem to worship you, and they treat you with reverence, they treat you with respect that, perhaps, they would not treat other people. So do you really consider yourself an ordinary man? You call yourself the enlightened one.
I am: I don’t consider, I don’t think, I am just an ordinary man – and that’s why they adore me. They have adored for centuries people who are just egoists, people who have been deceiving them, calling themselves prophets, messiahs, only begotten son of God, and all kinds of nonsense. They are intelligent enough to see that I am not putting any burden on them, I am trying to remove all burden. I am continuously saying to them there is no need to worship me, because I am just amongst you. There is no need for adoration.
But they do give it, and they do not treat you as an equal.
That is the problem. The more I say that I am nobody, the more they love me. Now what do you suppose I should do?