Question : Why does so much controversy surround you and your ashram?
Osho : Krishna Prem, if it were not so, it would have been really a surprise, it would have been a miracle, it would have been unbelievable. This is the natural course. This is what was happening to Socrates. And what was his mistake? His mistake was that he was trying to tell the truth as it is. His mistake, his only mistake, was that he was not ready to compromise with the stupidities of the crowd. He lived in continuous controversy; he died because of those controversies.
Do you think Jesus lived a noncontroversial life? Then why was he crucified? A reward for a noncontroversial life? He lived continuously in controversy; it is bound to be so. So it was with Buddha, so it was with Bodhidharma, so it has always been, and it seems so it is always going to be.
Truth creates controversy, because it shocks people, it shatters their illusions. And they want to cling to their illusions; those illusions are very consoling, comfortable, convenient and cozy. They don’t want to leave their dreams, they are not ready to drop their investments in all kinds of foolish projects — and that’s what truth requires of them. They feel angry, they want to take revenge.
It’s absolutely natural. I am going to live in controversy — and this is only the beginning. Wait for the day they expel me from the world! I am really enchanted: where will they send me? It will be worth it, worth all the trouble of going there and living out of the world.
This is only the beginning, this is just the spark. Soon the whole forest will be on fire, and this fire is going to spread all over the earth… because I am not fighting against Hindu fanaticism, I am not fighting against Mohammedan fanaticism, I am simply fighting against all kinds of fanaticism.
Socrates was only fighting against the lies that were prevalent in the small city of Athens; it was a very small place. Buddha was against the Hindu beliefs, Jesus was fighting the Judaic heritage. My fight is multidimensional: I am fighting with Jews, I am fighting with Hindus, I am fighting with Buddhists, I am fighting with Jainas, I am fighting with Mohammedans. My fight is not addressed to anybody in particular. Hence I am bound to create so many enemies, more than anybody has ever done.
But certainly I am also going to create just as many friends, more than anybody has ever done, because life keeps a balance. If you have so many enemies you will have as many friends, if you have so many friends you will have as many enemies. Life always keeps a balance, life never loses balance. So the more enemies there are, the more friends there will be.
The whole thing seems to be very intriguing, very interesting. And remember, you cannot satisfy all — that is not possible, and I am not interested in it either.
Two thousand five hundred years ago, Aesop told this story: It was a bright sunny morning in a mountain village. An old man and his grandson were going to the market in the large town in the valley to sell a donkey. The donkey was beautifully groomed and brushed and they set off happily down the steep path. In a while they passed some people lounging by the side of the path.
“Look at that silly pair!” said one of the onlookers. “There they go, scrambling and stumbling down the path, when they could be riding comfortably on the back of that sure-footed beast.”
The old man heard this and thought it was right. So he and the boy mounted the donkey, and thus continued their descent. Soon they passed another group of people gossiping by the wayside. “Look at the lazy pair, breaking the back of that poor donkey!”
The old man thought they were right, and since he was the heavier, he decided to walk while the boy rode. In a little while they heard more comments. “Look at that disrespectful child — he rides while the old man walks!”
The old man thought they were right, and it was only proper that he should ride while the boy walked. Sure enough, they soon heard this: “What a mean old man, riding at his ease while the poor child has to try to keep up on foot!”
By this time the old man and the boy were becoming increasingly bewildered. When they finally heard the criticism that the donkey would be all worn out and no one would want to buy him after the long walk to the market, they sat down, dejected, by the side of the road.
After the donkey had been allowed to rest for a while, they continued the journey, but in a completely different manner. Thus it was, late that afternoon, that the old man and the boy were seen gasping breathlessly into the marketplace. Slung on a pole between them, hung by his tied feet, was the donkey!
As Aesop said: “You can’t please everyone. If you try, you lose yourself.”
I cannot please everybody, and neither am I interested in pleasing everybody. I am not a politician; the politician tries to please everybody. I am here only to help those who really want to be helped. I am not interested in the mob, in the crowd. I am only interested in those sincere seekers who are ready to risk all — all — to attain themselves.
This is going to anger many, this is going to create much controversy, because I am a very noncompromising person. I will say only that which is true to me, whatsoever the consequence. If I am condemned for it or murdered for it, that’s perfectly okay. But I am not going to compromise, not an iota.
I have nothing to lose, so why compromise? I have nothing to gain, so why compromise? All that could have happened has happened. Nothing can be taken away from me, because my treasure is of the inner. And nothing can be added to it, because my treasure is of the inner.
So I am going to live the way I want to live. I am going to live in my own spontaneity and authenticity. I am not here to fulfill anybody’s expectations. I am not interested in being called a spiritual person or a saint either. I don’t need any compliments from anybody, I don’t want the crowd to worship me. All those stupid games are finished.
I am in that state where nothing can happen any more; it is beyond happening. So I will go on saying things which offend people. It is not that I want to offend them, but what can I do? If truth offends them, then it offends them. I am going to live life the way it is happening to me. If it is not according to their expectations, either they can change their expectations or they can feel angry, miserable, and go on clinging to their expectations.
I am utterly free from their opinion, it does not matter to me at all. So, Krishna Prem, the controversies will become more and more. And because I am controversial, my people are bound to be controversial too. Because I am controversial, you will also be offensive, you will also have to suffer. You will also have to be ready to be persecuted in many ways.
But remember one thing. To live a life of compromise is worse than death. And to live a life of truth, even if it is for a single moment, is far more valuable than to live eternally in lies. To die for truth is far more valuable than to live in lies.
Source – Osho Book “The Book of Wisdom”