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Chapter-6 Education

Osho,what is learning?
LEARNING, in the first place, is not knowledge. Let us start from negating, from eliminating; let us first say what learning is not.

Learning is not knowledge. Learning has become too much identified with knowledge. It is just the opposite of knowledge. The more knowledgeable a person is, the less he is capable of learning. Hence children are more capable of learning than grown-ups. And if the grown-ups also want to remain learners, they have to go on forgetting whatsoever they have learned. Whatsoever has become knowledge in them, they have to go on dying to it. If you collect your knowledge your inner space becomes too heavy with the past. You accumulate too much garbage.

Learning happens only when there is spaciousness. The child has that spaciousness, innocence. The beauty of the child is that he functions from the state of not-knowing, and that is the fundamental secret of learning: functioning from the state of not-knowing.
Watch, see, observe, but never form a conclusion. If you have already arrived at a conclusion, learning stops. If you already know, what is there to learn? Never function from the ready-made answer that you have arrived at from the scriptures, universities, teachers, parents, or maybe your own experience.

All that you have known has to be discarded in favor of learning. Then you will go on growing, then there is no end to growth. Then a person goes on remaining childlike, innocent, full of wonder and awe to the very end. Even when he is dying he continues learning. He learns life, he learns death. And the person who has learned life and learned death goes beyond both; he moves to the transcendental.

Learning is receptivity, learning is vulnerability. Learning is openness, open-endedness.
(Excerpted from: The Guest, Chap-15, Q-2)


The fourth question:
Question 4

Parmar, man is born as a seed. He is born as a potentiality. He is not born as an actuality. And this is very special, this is extraordinary, because in the whole of existence only man is born as a potentiality; every other animal is born actual.
A dog is born as a dog, he is to remain the same his whole life. The lion is born as a lion. Man is not born as a man, man is born only as a seed: he may become, he may not become. Man has a future; no other animal has a future. All animals are born instinctively perfect. Man is the only imperfect animal. Hence growth, evolution, is possible.

Education is a bridge between the potentiality and the actuality. Education is to help you to become that which you are only in a seed form. And this is what I am doing here; this is a place of education. The thing that is being done in the ordinary schools and colleges and universities is not education. It only prepares you to get a good job, a good earning; it is not real education. It does not give you life. Maybe it can give you a better standard of living, but the better standard of living is not a better standard of life; they are not synonymous.

The so-called education that goes on in the world prepares you only to earn bread. And Jesus says, “Man cannot live by bread alone.” And that’s what your universities have been doing — they prepare you to earn bread in a better way, in an easier way, in a more comfortable way, with less effort, with less hardship. But all that they do is prepare you to earn your bread and butter. It is a very, very primitive kind of education: it does not prepare you for life.

Hence you see so many robots walking around. They are perfect as clerks, as stationmasters, as deputy collectors. They are perfect, they are skillful, but if you look deep down in them they are just beggars and nothing else. They have not even tasted one bite of life. They have not known what life is, what love is, what light is. They have not known anything of God, they have not tasted anything of existence, they don’t know how to sing and how to dance and how to celebrate. They don’t know the grammar of life; they are utterly stupid. Yes, they earn — they earn more than others, they are very skillful and they go on rising higher and higher on the ladder of success — but deep down they remain empty, poor.

Education is to give you inner richness. It is not just to make you more informed; that is a very primitive idea of education. I call it primitive because it is rooted in fear, rooted in that “If I am not well educated I will not be able to survive. ” I call it primitive because deep down it is very violent: it teaches you competition, it makes you ambitious. It is nothing but a preparation for a cut-throat, competitive world where everybody is the enemy of everybody else.

Hence the world has become a madhouse. Love cannot happen. How Can love happen in such a violent, ambitious, competitive world where everybody is at each other’s throat? This is very primitive because it is based in the fear that “If I am not well educated, well protected, highly informed, I may not be able to survive in the struggle of life. ” It takes life only as a struggle.
My vision of education is that life should not be taken as a struggle for survival; life should be taken as a celebration. Life should not be only competition, life should be joy too. Singing and dancing and poetry and music and painting, and all that is available in the world — education should prepare you to fall in tune with it — with the trees, with the birds, with the sky, with the sun and the moon.

And education should prepare you to be yourself. Right now it prepares you to be an imitator; it teaches you how to be like others. This is miseducation. Right education will teach you how to be yourself, authentically yourself. You are unique. There is nobody like you, has never been, will never be. This is a great respect that God has showered on you. This is your glory, that you are unique. Don’t become imitative, don’t become carbon copies.

But that’s what your so-called education goes on doing: it makes carbon copies; it destroys your original face. The word “education” has two meanings, both are beautiful. One meaning is very well known, although not practiced at all, that is: to draw something out of you. “Education” means: to draw out that which is within you, to make your potential actual, like you draw water from a well.

But this is not being practiced. On the contrary, things are being poured into you, not drawn out of you. Geography and history and science and mathematics, they go on pouring them into you. You become parrots. You have been treated like computers; just as they feed the computers, they feed you. Your educational institutions are places where things are crammed into your head.
Real education will be to bring out what is hidden in you — what God has put in you as a treasure — to discover it, to reveal it, to make you luminous.

And another meaning of the word, which is even far deeper: “education” comes from the word educare; it means to lead you from darkness to light. A tremendously significant meaning: to lead you from darkness to light. The Upanishads say, “Lord, lead us from untruth to truth” — “asato ma sadgamaya.” “Lord, lead us from death to deathlessness”, “mrityormaamritamgamaya.” “Lord, lead us from darkness to light” — ” tamaso ma jyotirgamaya.” That is exactly the meaning of the word “education”: tamaso ma jyotirgamayma — from darkness to light.

Man lives in darkness, in unconsciousness — and man is capable of becoming full of light. The flame is there; it has to be provoked. The consciousness is there, but it has to be awakened. You have been given all, you have brought it with you; but the whole idea that you have become a man just by having a human body is wrong, and that idea has been the cause of tremendous mischief down the ages.

Man is born just as an opportunity, as an occasion. And very few people attain: a Jesus, a Buddha, a Mohammed, aBahaudin. Very few people, few and far between, really become man — when they become full of light and there is no darkness left, when there is no unconsciousness lingering anywhere in your soul, when all is light, when you are just awareness.

A man asked Buddha…. The man was an astrologer, a very learned scholar. When he saw Buddha he was puzzled. He had never seen such beauty, such grace. Buddha was sitting under a tree. The man was just in awe; he bowed down to Buddha and he said, “Are you a deva, an angel? Have you descended from heaven, because I have never seen such grace on the earth? Who are you? Are you a gandharva?”

Gandharvas are, mythologically, the musicians of the gods. They are very graceful, obviously — they are the musicians of the gods. Their very presence is musical. Just in their presence you will start hearing melodies; just being in their presence you will fall into a totally different rhythm. Their very presence is music, celestial music. And the astrologer heard that music around Buddha.

He said, “Are you a gandharva?” And Buddha said, “No, I am not a god, I am not a gandharva. “
“Then who are you? Are you just a man?” And Buddha said, ” No, I am not a man either. “
“Then who are you?” And the man went on asking, and Buddha went on saying, “No, no, no.” He became more and more puzzled and finally he asked, “Then who are you?”
And Buddha said, “I am awareness. “
Awareness, just awareness, pure awareness… and only then is one fulfilled. Then life is a benediction.

Education is to bring you from darkness to light. That’s what I am doing here. Parmar has asked this question because the Indian government is not ready to accept my work as education. It is natural. They cannot accept it as education, because I don’t create clerks and stationmasters and deputy collectors. I am creating new human beings. For them that is dangerous. If this is education, then they cannot allow it to happen. It is rebellion.

I am teaching you to be yourself. I am teaching you to be fearless; I am teaching you not to yield to the social pressure; I am teaching you not to be a conformist. I am teaching you not to hanker for comfort and convenience, because if you hanker for comfort and convenience, the society will give them to you, but at a cost. And the cost is great: you get convenience, but you lose your consciousness. You get comfort, but you lose your soul.

You can have respectability, but then you are not true to yourself; you are a pseudo human being; you have betrayed your God existenceand yourself. But the society wants that, that you should betray yourself. The society wants to use you as a machine, the society wants you to be obedient. The society does not need you to function as an intelligent being, because an intelligent being will behave in an intelligent way and there may be moments when he will say, “No, I cannot do this. ”

For example, if you are really intelligent and aware, you cannot be part of any army. Impossible. To be part of any army you need, as a basic requirement, unintelligence. That’s why in the army they manage in every way to destroy your intelligence. Years are needed to destroy your intelligence; they call it “training”. Stupid orders have to be followed: right turn, left turn, march forward, march backward — this and that — and they go on and on every day, morning, evening. Slowly, slowly, the person becomes a robot, he starts functioning like a machine.

I have heard, a woman went to a psychoanalyst and said, “I am very much worried, I cannot sleep. My husband is a colonel in the army. Whenever he comes home for holidays it becomes a nightmare for me. Whenever he is sleeping on his right side he snores, and snores so loudly that not only am I disturbed, even the neighbors are disturbed. Can you suggest something to me? What should I do?”

The psychoanalyst thought it over, and then he said, “Do one thing. Tonight try this, maybe it will work,” and he gave her a recipe and it worked. And the recipe was simple — he said to her, “When he starts snoring, just tell him,’Left turn.’ ”
She could not believe it, but when she did it, it worked — even in his sleep. He snored only on his right side, and when she said in his ear, slowly, not very loudly, softly, “Left turn,” just out of the old habit he turned left. The snoring stopped, even in sleep.

I have heard, William James has quoted this instance, a real actual instance. After the First World War, a man who had retired from the army was carrying a bucket full of eggs on his head, and somebody just joked. A few people were standing by the side, and one man said loudly, “Attention” and that man simply fell to attention, and the bucket fell and the eggs were broken all over the road. And he was very angry; he said, “What kind of joke is this?” But they said, “We have not done anything. We have just said,’Attention.’ Are we not allowed to say it?” And the man had been retired from the army for at least ten years — but it persists.

I have heard:
An insomniac boxer went to the doctor for some medical help. The ex-pugilist had tried mild sedation, but it didn’t seem to work. The doctor, hesitating to prescribe a more addictive kind, said, “Look, before I prescribe this heavier injection I want you to try the old-fashioned remedy. You may laugh, but it actually works. Try getting yourself completely relaxed and then start counting to a hundred. “

A few days later, the old fighter came back and said, “Doctor, I can’t do it. Every time I start counting, I jump up at the count of nine. ” The whole training in the army is to destroy your consciousness, is to make you an automatic machine. Then you can go and kill. Otherwise, if you are still carrying a little bit of intelligence, you will see the other person that you are killing is innocent; he has not done anything to you or to anybody. And he must have a wife at home who is waiting for him to come back; and he may have small children, and they will become beggars; and he may have an old mother or an old father, they may go mad. “And why am I killing this man? Because the officer says,’Start killing. Fire!’ ”
An intelligent person will not be able to fire. An intelligent person may choose to die himself rather than to kill innocent people. Because some foolish politician wants to get involved in a war, because some politician wants to have more power, because of some stupid statements of the politicians, the war has started. He will not kill.

This I call education: to make people more intelligent. And that’s what I am doing here. If this fire spreads, then this old, rotten society cannot survive. It survives on your unconsciousness, it lives on your unconsciousness.
So it is natural, Parmar, that the government will not recognize this place as a place of education. For them, it is one of the most dangerous places.
But as far as I am concerned, this is education. tamaso ma jyotirgamaya — Lord, lead me from darkness to light.
(Excerpted from: The Secret, Q-2, Chap-4)


The second question
Question 2

The education that has existed up to now has not been true. It has not served humanity; on the contrary, it has served the vested interests. It has served the past. The teacher has been an agent of the past. He functions as a mediator to give past beliefs, orientations, assumptions to the coming generation — to contaminate, to pollute the new consciousness that is arising on the horizon.

That’s why the teacher has been respected by all the societies. It serves the establishment. It reduces people to skillful robots, it reduces people to efficient machines. That’s what education has been up to now.
And because of education, man’s evolution has been very haphazard, zig-zag. But up to now there was no other way, because there was one thing in the past: knowledge grew SO slowly that it was almost the same for centuries. So the teacher was very very efficient in doing his job. Whatsoever was known was almost static; it was not growing.
But now there is a knowledge explosion. Things are changing so fast that the whole education system has become outdated, outmoded. It has to be dropped, and a totally new education system has to come into existence. Only now is it possible — up to now it was not possible.

You will have to understand what I mean by ‘the knowledge explosion’. Imagine a clock face with sixty minutes on it. These sixty minutes represent three thousand years of human history; or each minute, fifty years; or each second, approximately one year. On this scale there were no significant media changes until about nine minutes ago. At that time the printing press came in. About three minutes ago, the telegraph, photograph, and the locomotive. Two minutes ago, the telephone, rotary press, motion pictures, automobile, airplane and radio. One minute ago, the talking picture. Television has appeared in the last ten seconds, the computer in the last five, and the communication satellites in the last second. The laser beam appeared only a fraction of a second ago.

This is what some people call ‘the knowledge explosion’. Change is not new; what is new is the DEGREE of change. And that makes all the difference, because at a certain point quantitative changes become qualitative changes.
If you heat water, up to ninety-nine point nine degrees it is still water — maybe hot, but still water. Just point one degree more is needed and the water starts evaporating, and there happens a qualitative change. Just a few seconds before, the water was visible, now it is invisible. Just a few seconds before, the water was flowing downwards, now it is rising upwards. It has transcended the pull of gravitation, it is no more under the law of gravitation.

Remember, at a certain point the quantitative change becomes qualitative. And that’s what has happened. Change is not new, it is not news; change has always been happening. But the RATE of change is immensely new; it has not happened like this before.

The difference between a fatal and a therapeutic dose of strychnine is only a matter of degree — that’s what Norbert Wiener says. The poison can function as a medicine in a smaller dose, but the same medicine will become fatal if you give a bigger dose. At a certain point it is no more medicine, it is poison.
Change is so tremendous now that the teacher cannot serve any more in the past style, education cannot serve any more in the past way. The past way was to help people to memorize. Education up to now has not been education in intelligence but only in memory, in remembrance. The past generation transferred all its knowledge to the new generation, and the new generation was to remember it. So people who had good memories were thought to be intelligent.

That is not necessarily so. There have been geniuses whose memory was almost nil. Albert Einstein didn’t have a good memory. There have been people whose memory was miraculous, but they had no intelligence at all.
Memory is a mechanical thing in your mind. Intelligence is the consciousness. Intelligence is part of your spirit, memory is part of your brain. Memory belongs to the body, intelligence belongs to you.
Intelligence has to be taught now, because change is so fast that memory won’t do. By the time you have memorized something it is already out of date. And that is what is happening: the education is failing, universities are failing, because they still go on persisting in the old way. They have learnt a trick; for three thousand years they have been doing this, and now they have learnt it so deeply that they don’t know what else they can do.

Now, just giving old information to the children, which will not make them capable of living in the future but will hamper their growth, is dangerous. Now they need intelligence to live with the fast change that is happening.
Just one hundred years ago, there were millions of people who had never gone outside of their town, or never went more than fifty miles away from their town. Millions lived in the same place for ever, from birth to death. Now everything is changing. In America the average person lives only three years in one place, and that is exactly the time limit for marriage too — three years. Then one starts changing one’s town, one’s job, one’s wife, one’s husband.

This is a totally new world that you are living in. And your education simply makes you walking encyclopaedias, but outdated. The difference is not new — what is new is the degree of change.
On our clock face about three minutes ago there developed a qualitative difference in the character of change: change changed.
We have to teach intelligence now, so that we can make the children capable of living with the new things which will be happening every day. Don’t burden them with that which is not going to be of any use in the future. The old generation has not to teach what it has learnt; the old generation has to help the child to be more intelligent so that he can be capable of spontaneously responding to the new realities which will be coming. The old generation cannot even dream about them, what those realities will be.

Your children may be living on the moon; they will have a totally different atmosphere to live in. Your children may be living in the sky, because the earth is becoming too populated. Your children may have to live underground or under the sea. Nobody knows how your children will have to live. They may live only on tablets, vitamin pills… they will be living in a totally different world. So it is of no use just to go on giving them encyclopaedic knowledge from the past. We have to prepare them to face new realities.

We have to prepare them in awareness, in meditativeness. Then education will be true. Then it will not serve the past and the dead; it will serve the future. It will serve the living.
In my vision, to be true the education has to be subversive, rebellious. Up to now it has been orthodox, up to now it has been part of the establishment. True education has to teach things which NO other institution does. It has to become the anti-entropy business.

The state, the establishment and all the institutions of the society, all prevent growth — remember it. Why do they prevent growth? Because every growth brings challenge, and they are settled. And who wants to be unsettled? Those who are in power would not like anything new to happen, because that will change the power balance. Those who are in power would not like any new thing to be released, because the new thing will make new people powerful. Each new knowledge brings new power into the world. And the older generation would not like to lose its grip, its domination.

Education has to serve revolution. But ordinarily it serves the government and the priest and the church. In a very subtle way, it prepares slaves — slaves for the state, slaves for the church. The real purpose of education should be to subvert outmoded attitudes, beliefs and assumptions which no more serve growth and man, and are positively harmful and suicidal.

An interviewer once asked Ernest Hemingway, “Isn’t there any one essential ingredient you can identify which makes a great writer?”
Hemingway replied, “Yes, there is. In order to be a great writer a person must have a built-in shockproof, crap detector.”
And that’s what my idea of true education is. The children should be trained, disciplined, so that they can detect crap. A really intelligent person is a crap detector. He immediately knows, the moment he says something, whether it is significant or just holy cowdung.

The evolution of human consciousness is nothing but a long history of struggle against the veneration of crap. People go on worshipping, venerating crap. Ninety-nine percent of their beliefs are just lies. Ninety-nine percent of their beliefs are anti-human, anti-life. Ninety-nine percent of their beliefs are so primitive, so barbarous, so utterly ignorant, that it is unbelievable how people go on believing in them.

The true education will help you to drop all nonsense — howsoever ancient, respectable, revered. It will teach you the real. It will not teach you any superstition but how to live more joyously. It will teach you life-affirmation. It will teach you reverence for life and for nothing else. It will teach you how to be deeply in love with existence. It will not be only of the mind, it will be also of the heart.

It will also help you to become a no-mind. That is the dimension that is missing from education. It simply teaches you to become more and more entangled in mental concepts, lost in mind. M;nd is good, useful, but it is not your wholeness. There is heart too, which is in fact far more important than the mind — because the mind can create better technology, can give you better machines, better roads, better houses, but cannot make you a better man. It cannot make you more loving, more poetic, more graceful. It cannot give you the joy of life, the celebration. It cannot help you to become a song and a dance.

The true education has to teach you the ways of the heart too. And the true education has also to teach you the transcendental. Mind is for science, heart for art, poetry, music, and the transcendental for religion. Unless an education serves all these things, it is not true. And no educational system has yet done it.
It is not surprising that many young people are dropping out of your colleges, your universities — because they can see it is all crap, they can see it is all stupid.
No other institution can do it, only education can do it: universities should sow the seeds of revolution. They should sow the seeds of mutation — because a NEW man has to arrive on the earth.

The first rays have already reached. The new man is arriving every day and we have to prepare the earth to receive him — and with the new man, a new humanity and a new world. And there is no other possibility except education to receive the new man, to prepare the ground for him. And if we cannot prepare the ground for him, we are doomed.

The experiments we are doing here are really an effort to create the new kind of university. The government is against it, the society is against it, the churches — Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian — all are against it. The priests, the politicians, all are against it. The herd, the crowd mind is against it.

But this is natural; one should not be surprised about it. We are doing something subversive, we are doing something very rebellious. But this has to be done, and this has to be done all over the earth in many places. This experiment has to be done in every country. And only a few will take the challenge, but those few will be the heralds. Those few will declare the new age, the new man, the new humanity, the new earth: brave new world.


Walt Whitman has written:

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night air, and from time to time
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
The new education, the true education, has not only to teach you mathematics, history, geography, science; it also has to teach you the real morality: aesthetics. I call aesthetics the real morality: sensitivity to feel the beautiful, because God comes as beauty. In a roseflower or in a lotus, in the sunrise or in the sunset, in the stars, the birds singing in the early morning, or the dewdrops, a bird on the wing…. True education has to bring you closer and closer to nature because only by coming closer and closer to nature will you be coming closer and closer to Godexistence.

God is not separate from this world: God has become the world. You have heard it said again and again that God created the world. I say to you: God became the world. Now there is no other God except the world. The creator is in his creativity. God is just a creative force; he is creativity. Drop the idea that he is a creator. Think of him, contemplate on him, as creativity itself. He is spread all over:
Where two lovers meet, he is. And where your eyes see beauty, he is. And when you are simply overwhelmed by the starry night, he is. When you look deep into the eyes of a woman or a man, he is.

The true education will also be true religion.
Science is the lowest form of consciousness; art, higher than science; religion, the highest peak. Religion is the philosophia PERENNIS — the perennial philosophy.
(Excerpted from: PhilosophiaPerennis, Vol-2, Chap-10, Q-2)
Beloved Osho,

If intellect is such an obstacle in the journey towards self-realization, is not then training and sharpening of it just useless? is it not possible that because of their innocence and expressiveness, children should be helped to move into meditation directly, without imparting them any training in the intellect?
It is worth consideration, it is significant, and the question naturally arises, that if intellect is such a big obstacle, why train it in the first place? Why not introduce children to meditation while they are still innocent and simple, instead of sending them to university? Instead of shaping their logic and thinking faculty, instead of educating them, why not drown them into meditation in their innocence and simplicity? If intellect is an obstacle, why help it grow? Why not get rid of it before developing it?

It would have been alright if intellect was only an obstacle. But an obstacle can also become a stepping-stone. You are walking on a pathway and there is a huge rock lying on the pathway. Now, this is an obstacle, and you may return from there thinking the pathway does not go anywhere further. But if you climb on the rock, a new pathway is revealed — which is totally on a different level from the previous lower one. A new dimension opens up.
The unintelligent one will return from there taking the rock as an obstacle. The intelligent one will use the rock as a ladder. And intelligence, wisdom, is a totally different thing from what we call intellect.

Without training the intellect the children will remain like animals. It is not that they will become wise, not that they will become like Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna or Christ; they will remain like wild animals. Of course, they wouldn’t have the obstacle, but they wouldn’t have any means to climb up either. In itself, neither is the stone an obstacle, nor is the ladder a help.
So it is necessary that every child goes through the intellectual training. And the more beautiful this training, the sharper this training, the stronger, the bigger, the vaster this rock of intellect; the better because in the same proportion it is a means to rise to greater heights. The one who gets crushed under this rock is the pundit. The one who stands on top of this rock is the sage. And the one who, out of fear, does not even come close to the rock, is the ignorant.

The ignorant one’s intellect was never trained; the pundit’s intellect was trained but he could not go beyond it; the wise one’s intellect was not only trained, he also managed to go beyond it.
Avoidance would not help; one has to go through and beyond. And whatsoever experience one goes through, it intensifies one, it makes one luminous.

Buddha or Krishna are extraordinarily intelligent men. Mohammed was uneducated, but his intelligence is extraordinary. Just think about it: an uneducated man like Mohammed gave the Koran to the world which has stirred and impressed nearly one third of humanity. And today the words of the koran are still the code of life for a Mohammedan. This man may have been an illiterate, but the sharpness of his intelligence was unique. The codes he created are still effective and millions of hearts are thrilled and inspired by them. And the kind of system he provided in the koran is neither available in the Bible nor in the Upanishads nor in the Gita. In a sense, the Koran is a multidimensional book. It is not only religion, it is social science too; it is not only social science, it is political science too.

Mohammed tried to discipline life in a complete way and from all dimensions. From the trivia of life to the vastness of Brahman, the ultimate reality, he encompassed all in the Koran. This is why for the Islamic religion one scripture alone, the Koran, is sufficient. And this is also why Mohammedans say that God is one, and there is only one messenger of that one God. One messenger is enough. This man must have been very intelligent, no one can doubt his intelligence. He was uneducated, but being uneducated has nothing to do with having or not having intelligence. We see educated ones and find them without intelligence. What has education to do with intelligence? Intelligence is a name for squeezing the essence out of life experiences.

So the intellect of the child will have to be trained, his logic will have to be sharpened so that it becomes like a sword. And then whether he will cut himself with the sword, commit suicide, or save somebody’s life, it all depends on his intelligence.
Logic is just a means. We can use it for destroying life — then it is destructive; we can use it for creating life — then it is creative. But one thing is certain: that just keeping children deprived of intellect will not make them intelligent. They would be innocent like animals but they would not be meditative like sages.

Many times it has happened sometimes that a child has been taken away to the forest by some wolf. About forty years ago, two such girls were found in the forests near Calcutta. Some ten years ago, another child who had been brought up by wolves was found in a forest near Lucknow. This child was quite grown up; he was nearly fourteen years of age. This child had never received any human education, he had never known any school, he had not known any human company; he was taken away by the wolves while he was still an infant in his cradle. So he grew up with the wolves. He was unable to even stand up on his two feet, because that too is a part of human training. Don’t ever think that you are standing on your two feet just on your own; it has been taught to you.

The human body is structured to walk on all fours. No child walks on two feet after his birth, he walks on four; to walk on the two feet is a learning. If you ask scientists, physiologists, they say a very strange thing. They say that the human body can never be healthy like that of animals, because the human body was meant to walk on four legs, and he has messed up everything; he is walking on two legs, so the whole system is disturbed. It is like a car which was not designed for it going up a mountain; gravitational laws are disturbed — because when you walk on the ground on all fours you are balanced, your weight is equally distributed on four, and your body is parallel to the gravitation, there is equal amount of gravitational force all along your spine and there is no trouble. But when you stand up on your two legs, everything is disturbed. The blood has to flow in the opposite direction, upward; the lungs have to work extra unnecessarily. All the time there is a struggle with the gravitation. The earth is pulling downwards. So if man dies of heart failure, there is no wonder in it. No animal dies of heart failure; heart weakness can not develop in animals and it can not be avoided in men. It is a miracle if it does not happen to some men; otherwise in general it is bound to happen, because all this reverse work of pumping the blood is being done continuously — which is a must, but nature had not designed things this way.

So that boy could not walk on two feet, he only used to run on all fours. And his running was also not like that of human beings, it was like that of wolves. Also he used to eat raw meat like wolves. He was very powerful — even eight strong men would find it difficult to hold and tie him down — and he was almost a wolf. He may bite, snatch off a portion of your flesh — ferocious! He had not become a meditative saint, all that he had become was a wild animal. And similar incidents have happened in the West also: children being brought up in the forests by animals so they were found as animals.
Then efforts were made to train this boy. For six months, all kinds of massages and electric treatments were given, and he could barely be made to stand upon his two feet, and just a little lapse and he would be back to his four — because it is very troublesome to stand on two. You have no idea of the fun of standing on all fours, so you are standing on your two and suffering.

The boy was given a name. They got tired of teaching him and all he could learn and utter before dying was a single word: Rama. He would just tell his name. Within one and a half years he died. The scientists who were studying the boy say he died because of all this training, because he was nothing more than a child of some wild animal.
This also shows how much of a child’s life we may simply be killing by sending them to school. We kill their joyousness, we kill their wildness. That is the whole trouble in the schools. A class of thirty children — those thirty wild animals — we hand over to one teacher. In his hands has fallen the task of making them civilized. This is why there is no other profession more boring that the profession of teaching. There is no other human being more distressed than a teacher. Their job is really a difficult one.

But these children will have to be educated; otherwise they will not be able to become human beings. Innocent they will be, but that innocence will be that of ignorance. A man is also innocent because of not knowing, but when he becomes innocent after knowing, then blooms the flower of life.
Training of the intellect is necessary; then transcendence of intellect is necessary. And how will you lose what you don’t even have?
This is why I always say that if you want to know the poverty of Buddha and Mahavira, then you will have to accumulate the wealth of Buddha and Mahavira. You cannot know that poverty which Buddha knows; the joy of that poverty can only be experienced in coming out of a palace.

If you want to experience a consciousness like that of Krishna, then you will also have to look for an intellect like that of Krishna, because you can enjoy leaving only that which you have. How can you experience the peace Einstein will experience by dropping his intellect? That peace will be incomparable, because that will be the peace after the storm. Your storm has not come yet. The taste one feels in throwing the intellect aside after much intellectual gymnastics is like the taste of the pure health one feels after recovering from some sickness. Renunciation is a great bliss in the sense that the indulgence preceding it was a great misery.

Pass through the misery of intellect so that you can attain to the bliss of wisdom. Pass through the anguish of the world so that samadhi, the ultimate ecstasy, awakening into the divine, can be yours.
You will have to pass through the opposites, that is the way.
(Excerpted from: Nowhere to Go, But In, Chap-9)
Maneesha, the education that has prevailed in the past is very insufficient, incomplete, superficial. It only creates people who can earn their livelihood but it does not give any insight into living itself. It is not only incomplete, it is harmful too — because it is based on competition.

Any type of competition is violent deep down, and creates people who are unloving. Their whole effort is to be the achievers — of name, of fame, of all kinds of ambitions. Obviously they have to struggle and be in conflict for them. That destroys their joys and that destroys their friendliness. It seems everybody is fighting against the whole world.

Education up to now has been goal-oriented: what you are learning is not important; what is important is the examination that will come a year or two years later. It makes the future important — more important than the present. It sacrifices the present for the future. And that becomes your very style of life; you are always sacrificing the moment for something which is not present. It creates a tremendous emptiness in life.

The commune of my vision will have a five-dimensional education. Before I enter into those five dimensions, a few things have to be noted. One: there should not be any kind of examination as part of education, but every day, every hour observation by the teachers; their remarks throughout the year will decide whether you move further or you remain a little longer in the same class. Nobody fails, nobody passes — it is just that a few people are speedy and a few people are a little bit lazy — because the idea of failure creates a deep wound of inferiority, and the idea of being successful also creates a different kind of disease, that of superiority.
Nobody is inferior, and nobody is superior.
One is just oneself, incomparable.

So, examinations will not have any place. That will change the whole perspective from the future to the present. What you are doing right this moment will be decisive, not five questions at the end of two years. Of thousands of things you will pass through during these two years, each will be decisive; so the education will not be goal-oriented.
The teacher has been of immense importance in the past, because he knew he had passed all the examinations, he had accumulated knowledge. But the situation has changed — and this is one of the problems, that situations change but our responses remain the old ones. Now the knowledge explosion is so vast, so tremendous, so speedy, that you cannot write a big book on any scientific subject because by the time your book is complete, it will be out of date; new facts, new discoveries will have made it irrelevant. So now science has to depend on articles, on periodicals, not on books.

The teacher was educated thirty years earlier. In thirty years everything has changed, and he goes on repeating what he was taught. He is out of date, and he is making his students out of date. So in my vision the teacher has no place. Instead of teachers there will be guides, and the difference has to be understood: the guide will tell you where, in the library, to find the latest information on the subject.
And teaching should not be done in the old-fashioned way, because television can do it in a far better way, can bring the latest information without any problems. The teacher has to appeal to your ears; television appeals directly to your eyes; and the impact is far greater, because the eyes absorb eighty percent of your life situations — they are the most alive partof you.

If you can see something there is no need to memorize it; but if you listen to something you have to memorize it. Almost ninety-eight percent of education can be delivered through television, and the questions that students will ask can be answered by computers. The teacher should be only a guide to show you the right channel, to show you how to use the computer, how to find the latest book. His thefunction of teachers function will be totally different. He is they will not be imparting knowledge to you, he is they will be making you aware of the contemporary knowledge, of the latest knowledge. He is The teacher will be only a guide.

With these considerations, I divide education into five dimensions. The first is informative, like history, geography, and many other subjects which can be dealt with by television and computer together. The second part should be sciences. They can be imparted by television and computer too, but they are more complicated, and the human guide will be more necessary.
In the first dimension also come languages. Every person in the world should know at least two languages; one is his mother tongue, and the other is English as an international vehicle for communication. They can also be taught more accurately by television — the accent, the grammar, everything can be taught more correctly than by human beings.

We can create in the world an atmosphere of brotherhood: language connects people and language disconnects too. There is right now no international language. This is due to our prejudices. English is perfectly capable, because it is known by more people around the world on a wider scale — although it is not the first language. The first is Spanish, as far as population is concerned. But its population is concentrated, it is not spread all over the world. The second is Chinese; that is even more concentrated, only in China. As far as numbers go, these languages are spoken by more people, but the question is not of numbers, the question is of spread.

English is the most widespread language, and people should drop their prejudices — they should look at the reality. There have been many efforts to create languages to avoid the prejudices — the Spanish people can say their language should be the international language because it is spoken by more people than almost any other language…. To avoid these prejudices, languages like Esperanto have been created. But no created language has been able to function. There are a few things which grow, which cannot be created; a language is a growth of thousands of years. Esperanto looks so artificial that all those efforts have failed.

But it is absolutely necessary to create two languages — first, the mother tongue, because there are feelings and nuances which you can say only in the mother tongue. One of my professors, S. K. Saxena, a world traveler who has been a professor of philosophy in many countries, used to say that in a foreign language you can do everything, but when it comes to a fight or to love, you feel that you are not being true and sincere to your feelings. So for your feelings and for your sincerity, your mother tongue… which you imbibe with the milk of the mother, which becomes part of your blood and bones and marrow. But that is not enough — that creates small groups of people and makes others strangers.

One international language is absolutely necessary as a basis for one world, for one humanity. So two languages should be absolutely necessary for everybody. That will come in the first dimension.
The second is the enquiry of scientific subjects, which is tremendously important because it is half of reality, the outside reality. And the third will be what is missing in present-day education, the art of living. People have taken it for granted that they know what love is. They don’t know… and by the time they know, it is too late. Every child should be helped to transform his anger, hatred, jealousy, into love.

An important part of the third dimension should also be a sense of humor. Our so-called education makes people sad and serious. And if one third of your life is wasted in a university in being sad and serious, it becomes ingrained; you forget the language of laughter — and the man who forgets the language of laughter has forgotten much of life.
So love, laughter, and an acquaintance with life and its wonders, its mysteries… these birds singing in the trees should not go unheard. The trees and the flowers and the stars should have a connection with your heart. The sunrise and the sunset will not be just outside things — they should be something inner, too. A reverence for life should be the foundation of the third dimension.
People are so irreverent to life.

They still go on killing animals to eat — they call it game; and if the animal eats them — then they call it calamity. Strange… in a game both parties should be given equal opportunity. The animals are without weapons and you have machine guns or arrows…. You may not have thought about why arrows and machine guns were invented: so that you can kill the animal from a faraway distance; to come close is dangerous. What kind of game is this? And the poor animal, defenseless against your bullets….

It is not a question of killing the animals; it is a question of being irreverent to life, because all that you need can be provided either by synthetic foods, or by other scientific methods. All your needs can be fulfilled; no animal has to be killed. And a person who kills animals, deep down can kill human beings without any difficulty — because what is the difference? And there are cannibals….

Just a few days ago in Palestine, the people demanded that the government allow them to eat human flesh, because there was not enough food — so why waste a dead body? Whether it has died naturally or has been destroyed by the terrorists or has been in an accident, it is good food! And the surprising thing is that the government of Palestine has agreed — they had to. Food is short, and people cannot be left hungry. Today they will be eating the naturally dead or the accidentally dead, or those killed by terrorists; but this is not going on forever. Soon they will start finding ways to kill people — to steal children, because their flesh is thought to be the most delicious.
A great reverence for life should be taught, because life is God and there is no other God than life itself, and joy, laughter, a sense of humor — in short a dancing spirit.

The fourth dimension should be of art and creativity: painting, music, craftsmanship, pottery, masonry — anything that is creative. All areas of creativity should be allowed; the students can choose. There should be only a few things compulsory — for example an international language should be compulsory; a certain capacity to earn your livelihood should be compulsory; a certain creative art should be compulsory. You can choose through the whole rainbow of creative arts, because unless a man learns how to create, he never becomes a part of existence, which is constantly creative. By being creative one becomes divine; creativity is the only prayer.

And the fifth dimension should be the art of dying. In this fifth dimension will be all the meditations, so that you can know there is no death, so that you can become aware of an eternal life inside you. This should be absolutely essential, because everybody has to die; nobody can avoid it. And under the big umbrella of meditation, you can be introduced to Zen, to Tao, to Yoga, to Hassidism, to all kinds and all possibilities that have existed, but which education has not taken any care of. In this fifth dimension, you should also be made aware of the martial arts like aikido, jujitsu, judo — the art of self-defense without weapons — and not only self-defense, but simultaneously a meditation too.

The new commune will have a full education, a whole education. All that is essential should be compulsory, and all that is nonessential should be optional. One can choose from the options, which will be many. And once the basics are fulfilled, then you have to learn something you enjoy; music, dance, painting — you have to know something to go inwards, to know yourself. And all this can be done very easily without any difficulty.
I have been a professor myself and I resigned from the university with a note saying: This is not education, this is sheer stupidity; you are not teaching anything significant.
But this insignificant education prevails all over the world — it makes no difference, in the Soviet Union or in America. Nobody has looked for a more whole, a total education. In this sense almost everybody is uneducated; even those who have great degrees are uneducated in the vaster areas of life. A few are more uneducated, a few are less — but everybody is uneducated. But to find an educated man is impossible, because education as a whole does not exist anywhere.

(Excerpted from: The Golden Future, Chap-23, Q-1)


The third question:
Question 3
Ordinarily that which is called education is almost against meditation. It should not be so but it is so. The original meaning of the word ‘education’ is not against meditation. The original meaning is: to draw out. To educate means to draw out; whatsoever is hidden in the individual has to be drawn out. The individual has to flower — that is the original meaning of education.

That is what meditation is too: you have to flower in your own being. You don’t know what you are going to be, you don’t know what flowers will come to you, what will be their color and what will be their perfume — you don’t know. You move into the unknown. You simply trust life-energy. It has given birth to you, it is your foundation, it is your being. You trust it. You know that you are a child of this universe, and this universe, if it has given birth to you, will take care too.

When you trust yourself you trust the whole universe also. And this universe is beautiful. Just see… so many flowers are born in this universe; how can you mistrust it? Such tremendous beauty is all around; how can you mistrust it? Such grandeur, such grace, from a small dust particle to the stars; such symmetry, such harmony; how can you mistrust it?
Basho has said, “If flowers are born out of this universe, then I trust it.” Right? That is enough logic, a great argument:”If this universe can give birth to so many beautiful flowers, if a rose is possible, I trust it. If a lotus is possible. I trust it.”
Education is a trust in yourself and in existence, allowing whatsoever is hidden in you unfoldment; bringing whatsoever is in, out.

But that is not true of the so-called education that goes on in the world. Rather than bringing out, it forces things in. It simply pours in information. Again that word’information’ is wrong; it should not be used — it is’out-formation’.’Information’ means: formation inside you. Something should grow in you — then it is information. But nobody is bothered about you. The society is bothered about its own ideas, ideologies, prejudices, technology; they go on forcing you. Your head is used as a hollow place, so they have to provide the furniture. Ordinarily education, or whatsoever is available in the name of education, is nothing but stuffing your mind with knowledge — because knowledge has some utility. Nobody is bothered about you, nobody is bothered about your destiny They need more doctors, they need more engineers, they need more generals, they need more technicians, plumbers, electricians. So they need them; they force you to become a plumber, or they force you to become a doctor, or they force you to become an engineer.

I am not saying there is something wrong with being an engineer or a doctor, but there is certainly something wrong if it is forced from the outside. If somebody flowers into a doctor, then you will see a great healing happening around him. Then he will be a born healer. He will really be a physician, his touch will be golden. He is born to be that.

But when it is forced from the outside and one takes it as a profession, because one has to live and one has to learn and earn one’s living, one takes it over. Then one is crippled and crushed under the weight. One simply goes on dragging and dragging, and one day, dies. There has never been a moment of celebration in that life. Of course, he will leave much money for his children to become doctors in their own turn, to go to university, to the same university where he was destroyed. And his children will do the same to their children, and this is how things go on being transferred from one generation to another. No, I don’t call this education. It is crime. It is really a miracle that in spite of this education sometimes a Buddha flowers in the world. It is a miracle. It is simply unbelievable how somebody can escape out of it: it is a methodology to kill you, it is arranged in such a way. And small children are caught in the mechanism of it, not knowing where they are going, not knowing what is being made of them. By the time they become aware, they are completely corrupted, destroyed. By the time they can think about what to do with their lives, they are almost incapable of moving in any other direction.

By the time you are twenty-five or thirty, half the life is gone. Now to change seems to be too risky. You have become a doctor, your practice is going well; suddenly one day you realize that this is not the thing you were meant to be. This is not for you — but now what to do? So go on pretending that you are a doctor. And if the doctor is not happy in being a doctor, he is not going to help any patient. He may drug the patient, he may give medicine, but he is not going to really be a healing force. When a doctor is really a doctor, a born doctor… and everybody is a born something. You may miss it, you may not even know it. Somebody is a born poet; and you cannot make a poet. There is no way to manufacture poets. Somebody is a born painter; you cannot manufacture painters.
But things are very wrongly placed: the painter is working as a doctor, the doctor is working as a painter. The politician is there: maybe he could have been a good plumber but he has become a prime minister or a president. And the person who could have been a prime minister is a plumber.

This is why in the world there is so much chaos: everybody is wrongly placed, nobody is exactly where he should be. Right education will exactly be a path to meditation. Wrong education is a barrier to meditation because wrong education teaches you things which don’t fit with you. And unless something fits with you and you fit with it, you can never be healthy and whole. You will suffer.
So ordinarily when an educated person becomes interested in meditation he has to unlearn whatsoever he has learned. He has to go back to his childhood again and start from there, from the ABC’s That’s why my insistence is for certain meditations in which you can again become a child.

When you dance you are more like a child than like a grown-up person. That’s why you don’t see dignitaries coming to me and to my meditations. Somebody is a commissioner, a collector — he cannot come, because he cannot dance. He is a commissioner, or he is a governor — how can he dance with ordinary people?
But if you cannot dance, you may be a governor, but you are dead I If you cannot sing like a child. you are a burden on the earth. It is better if you commit suicide. At least you will vacate some space for somebody else to grow and flower. You are not going to flower; that is certain.

Men who have some respectability become very stuck because they cannot do anything — they cannot risk their respectability. They are afraid. They are not happy, they don’t know what bliss is, they don’t exactly know what being alive means — but they are respectable. So they cling to their respectability, and then die. They never live; they die before they ever start living. They are many people who die before they have ever lived.

My meditations are to bring you back to your childhood — when you were not respectable, when you could do crazy things, when you were innocent, uncorrupted by the society, when you had not learned any tricks of the world, when you were other-worldly, unworldly. I would like you to go back to that point; from there, start again. And this is your life. Respectability or money are booby prizes, they are not real prizes. Don’t be deceived by them.

You cannot eat respectability, and you cannot eat money, and you cannot eat prestige. They are just games: meaningless, stupid, mediocre. If you are intelligent enough you will understand that you have to live your life and you are not to bother about other things. All other considerations are meaningless: it is your life. You have to live it authentically, lovingly, with great passion and with great compassion, with great energy. You have to become a tidal wave of bliss. Whatsoever is needed to do for it, do.
Unlearning will be needed. Unlearning means that you stop those wrong routes, you stop moving in those wrong ways that the society has forced persuaded you, seduced you to go in. You take charge of your own life; you become your own master.

That is the meaning of sannyas. That’s why I call sannyasins SWAMI. ‘SWAMI’ means: one who has become a master of his own life. It has nothing to do with orthodox SWAMIS; they are not masters of their own lives. They are again on the same train, with the same society, with the same stupid power, prestige, politics.
A real sannyasin is one who does not care about others’ opinions, who has decided to live his life as he wants to live it. I don’t mean for you to be irresponsible. When you start living your life responsibly, you not only care about yourself, you care about others also — but in a totally different way.

Now you will take every care that you don’t interfere in anybody else’s life — this is what responsibility is. You don’t allow anybody to interfere in your life, and naturally, you will not interfere in anybody’s life. You don’t want anybody to guide your life, you don’t want your life to be a guided tow. A guided tour is not a tour at all. You want to explore on your own. You want to move in the forest without any map, so that you can also be a discoverer, so that you can also come to some fresh spots for the first time.

If you carry a map you always come to the spot where many have come before. It is never new, it is never original, it is never virgin. It is already contaminated, corrupted. Many have moved on it: a map even exists.
When I was a child, in the temple that my parents used to visit, I was surprised: there were maps of heaven and hell and MOKSHA. One day I told my father, “If maps exist about MOKSHA, then I am not interested in it.”
He said, “Why?” I said, “If maps exist, then it is already rotten. Many people have reached there, even map-makers have reached there. Everything is measured, and they know every spot, named and labelled. This seems to be just an extension of the same old world. It is nothing new. I would like to move in a world which has no map. I would like to be an explorer.” That day I stopped going into the temple.

My father asked me, “Why don’t you come now?”
I said, “You remove those maps. I cannot tolerate those maps there. They are very offensive. Just think about it: even MOKSHA IS measured? Then is there nothing immeasurable!”
And all the Buddhas have said that truth is immeasurable; all the Buddhas have said that truth is not only unknown, it is unknowable. It is an uncharted sea: you take your small boat and you go into the uncharted sea. You take the adventure. It is risky, it is dangerous. But in risk and danger the soul flowers, becomes integrated.

To me, if education is right it will be just a part of meditation; meditation will be the last point in it. If education is right, then universities should not be against the universe. They should be just training-places, jumping-boards into the universe. If education is right, then it will not be concerned about money, and it will not be concerned about power and prestige. Then it will not be political at all.

If education is right it will be concerned about your bliss, your happiness, music, love, poetry, dance. It will teach you how to unfold. It will not go on simply throwing information into your head. It will help you to come out of your being, to flower, to grow, to spread, to expand. It will be a totally different education.

And naturally if education becomes involved with meditation it becomes religious. I don’t call an education religious because it teaches the dogma of Christianity, or it teaches Hinduism. It is not religious. Education is religious if it makes you courageous enough to accept yourself, and live your life, and become an offering to God in your own way, in your own unique way.

(Excerpted from: The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol-4, Chap- 6)


Listening to the birds, I remember…. Just outside my classroom in the high school there were beautiful mango trees. And mango trees are where cuckoos make their nests. This is the cuckoo that is calling, and there is nothing sweeter than the sound of a cuckoo.
So I used to sit by the window, looking out at the birds, at the trees, and my teachers were very much annoyed. They said, “You have to look at the blackboard.”
I said, “It is my life, and I have every right to choose where to look. Outside is so beautiful — the birds singing, and the flowers, and the trees, and the sun coming through the trees — that I don’t think your blackboard can be a competitor.”

HeOne teacher was so angry that he told me, “Then you can go out and stand there outside the window unless you are ready to look at the blackboard — because I am teaching you mathematics, and you are looking at the trees and the birds.”

I said, “This is a great reward you are giving me, not a punishment.” And I said goodbye to him.
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I will never come in, I will be standing every day outside the window.”
He said, “You must be crazy. I will report to your father, to your family: `You are wasting money on him, and he’s standing outside.'”
I said, “You can do anything you want to do. I know how to manage things with my father. And he knows perfectly well that if I have decided then I will remain outside the window — nothing can change it.”

The principal used to see me standing outside the window every day when he came for a round. He was puzzled at what I was doing there every day. On the third or fourth day he came to me, and he said, “What are you doing? Why do you go on standing here?”
I said, “I have been rewarded.”
He said, “Rewarded? For what?”
I said, “You just stand by my side and listen to the songs of the birds. And the beauty of the trees…. Do you think looking at the blackboard and that stupid teacher… because only stupid people become teachers; they cannot find any other employment. Mostly they are third class graduates. So neither do I want to look at that teacher, nor do I want to look at the blackboard. As far as mathematics is concerned, you need not be worried — I will manage it. But I cannot miss this beauty.”

He stood by my side, and he said, “Certainly it is beautiful. I have been a principal for twenty years in this school, and I never came here. And I agree with you that this is a reward. As far as mathematics is concerned, I am an M.Sc. in mathematics. You can come to my house anytime, and I will teach you mathematics — but you continue to stand outside.”

So I got a better teacher, the principal of the school, who was a better mathematician. And my mathematics teacher was very much puzzled. He thought that I would get tired after a few days, but the whole month passed. Then he came out, and he said, “I am sorry, because it hurts me continuously the whole time I am in the class that I have forced you to stand out here. And you have not done any harm. You can sit inside and look wherever you want.”

I said, “Now it is too late.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I mean that now I enjoy being outside. Sitting behind the window only a very small portion of the trees and the birds is available; here all the thousands of mango trees are available. And as far as mathematics is concerned, the principal is teaching me himself; every evening I go to him.”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Yes, because he agreed with me that this is a reward.”
He went directly to the principal and said, “This is not good. I had punished him and you are encouraging him.” The principal said, “Forget punishment and encouragement — you should also stand outside sometime. Now I cannot wait; otherwise I used to go for the round as a routine, but now I cannot wait. The first thing I have to do is to go for the round and stay with that boy and look at the trees.

“For the first time, I have learned that there are better things than mathematics — the sounds of the birds, the flowers, the green trees, the sun rays coming through the trees, the wind blowing, singing its song through the trees. Once in a while you should also go and accompany him.”

He came back very sorry and said, “The principal told me what has happened, so what should I do?” He asked me, “Should I take the whole class out?”
I said, “That would be great. We can sit under these trees, and you can teach your mathematics. But I am not going to come in the class, even if you make me fail — which you cannot do, because I now know more mathematics than any student in the class. And I have a better teacher. You are a third class B.Sc., and he is a first class gold medalist M.Sc.”
For a few days he thought about it, and one morning when I went there I saw that the whole class was sitting under the trees. I said, “Your heart is still alive; mathematics has not killed it.”
(Excerpted from: The Razor’s Edge, Chap-8, Q-3)



Would You Speak on religious education?
There is no other way to be religious. All that you have heard about religion, read about religion, has to be totally dropped. Unless you are clean, with no writing on your consciousness, you will never know what religion is. The so-called religions are doing just the opposite. And you can see the result.
The whole world is divided into religions: somebody is going to the synagogue, somebody is going to the temple, somebody else is going to the church. But do you find any religiousness anywhere?

Every child is brought up, conditioned, in a certain religion. It is one of the biggest crimes against humanity. Nothing can be a bigger crime than to pollute the mind of an innocent child with ideas which are going to become hindrances in his discovery of life. The moment you want to discover something, you have to be absolutely unprejudiced. You cannot discover religion as a Mohammedan, as a Christian, as a Hindu — no. These are the ways to prevent you from discovering religion.

Every society, until now, has been trying to indoctrinate every child. Before the child becomes capable of asking questions he is being given answers. Do you see the stupidity of it? The child has not asked the question and you are providing him with an answer. What you are in reality doing is killing the very possibility of the question arising. You have filled his mind with the answer. And unless he has his own question, how can he have his own answer? The quest has to be sincerely his. It cannot be borrowed, it cannot be inherited.
But this nonsense has continued for centuries. The priest is interested, the politician is interested, the parents are interested in making something of you before you can discover who you are. They are afraid that if you discover who you are you will be a rebel, you will be dangerous to the vested interests. Then you will be an individual, living in his own right, not living a borrowed life.
They are so afraid, that before the child becomes capable of asking, inquiring, they start stuffing his mind with all kinds of nonsense. The child is helpless. He naturally believes in the mother, in the father, and of course he believes in the priest in whom the father and mother believe. The great phenomenon of doubt has not arisen yet. And it is one of the most precious things in life, to doubt, because unless you doubt you cannot discover.

You have to sharpen your doubting forces so that you can cut through all rubbish and you can ask questions which nobody can answer. Only your own quest, inquiry, will help you to come to the realization of them.
The religious question is not something which can be answered by somebody else. Nobody else can love on your behalf. Nobody else can live on your behalf. You have to live your life, and you have to seek and search the fundamental questions of life. And unless you discover yourself there is no joy, no ecstasy. If God is just given to you, readymade, it is not worth anything, it is valueless. But that’s how it is being done.
What you call religious ideas are not religious, but only superstitions carried down the ages — for so long that just their ancientness has made them appear like truth.

Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography, My Struggle, makes many significant statements. The man was mad, but sometimes mad people say things which sane people are afraid to say. One of his most important statements is: “Any lie can become truth if repeated often, emphasized again and again, told by everybody from every corner.” You go to the school and you hear about God and prayer. In the home you hear about God and prayer. You go to the temple and you hear about God and prayer. So many people… and just a small child against this whole mob.

It is impossible for hima child to doubt — all these people are wrong? And these are not the only people. Their parents, and their parents, for thousands of years, have been believing in these truths. They all cannot be wrong, “And I, a small child against this whole humanity….” He cannot gather courage. He starts repressing any possibility of doubt. And everybody else helps to repress doubt, because “doubt is from the devil. Doubt is a great, perhaps the greatest, sin. Belief is virtue. Believe and you will find; doubt, and you have missed on the very first step.”

The truth is just the opposite. Believe and you will never find, and whatsoever you find will be nothing but the projection of your own belief — it will not be truth. What has truth to do with your believing? Doubt, and doubt totally, because doubt is a cleansing process. It takes out all junk from your mind. It makes you again innocent, again the child which has been destroyed by the parents, by the priests, by the politicians, by the pedagogues. You have to discover that child again. You have to start from that point. Hence, my whole effort here is to destroy all your so-called religious ideas.

It will hurt you because those religious ideas have become so intimate to you that you have forgotten they are not your discoveries, they are not your experiences. You have not lived them; you have not even loved them. Somebody else has forced you to believe in them, and whosoever has done it has committed an inhuman act against you.
I am not saying that those people are knowingly doing it. They are themselves victims of the same process; their parents did it to them, their teachers did it to them. So I am not saying to start feeling angry against them. They did it thinking it is good for you… but just by their thinking, anything is not going to become good — just by their thinking. They have been trying to help you, but they don’t know that there are things in which a person should be left alone; only then can he discover. If you try to help him you are crippling him.

Don’t try to force anybody to take your help while he can manage on his own. Don’t force anybody to see through your eyes when he has eyes. And at least, please, don’t place your specs on anybody’s eyes; your numbers are different. You will drive that person blind, you will distort his vision. But not only specs are being put on you, people are putting their eyes on top of your eyes… and they are all doing it for your good, for your sake. And after twenty years, thirty years of continuous conditioning, you start forgetting that you had never asked the question in the first place.
I am reminded of a very creative person, Gertrude Stein. She was dying; her friends were around her. Suddenly she opened her eyes and asked, “What is the answer?” And the friends looked puzzled. Had she gone mad just before death? Had she lost her reason? What kind of thing was she asking — “What is the answer?”

One of them said, “But you have not asked the question, so how can we say what the answer is?”
So she said, “Okay then: tell me, what is the question?” And she died.

To me it is of tremendous significance. It relates to almost every human being. You have forgotten that you had not asked the question, and the answer has already been forced into you. And of course it is a simple process of conditioning: go on telling the person, go on telling the person the same thing again and again. Soon the person starts repeating it like a gramophone record. And the person has forgotten that he had not asked the question.

Perhaps at the very end Stein discovered her fresh childhood. It happens to many people when they are dying. The circle completes, they come to the same point from where they had begun. So she is asking, “What is the answer?” because only answers were given. And nobody had bothered about the question. And when now, at this last moment, somebody asked, “But first tell us what the question is” — she becomes aware… but now it is too late. And the answers have been so much, so heavy, such a load on the being, that now to ask an authentic question also has become impossible. So she asks, “Okay, if a question is needed, then I ask you, ‘What is the question?'”

To me, this small incident is immensely significant. It is everybody’s life. You talk about God, you talk about the soul, you talk about heaven, hell, but have you ever thought — are these questions? Are you really interested in God? What interest can you have in God? On what grounds can you have God become your quest?

I was born in a Jaina family. In Jainism God is not believed in; there is no God, as creator. Because the conditioning of Jainism does not enforce the idea of God on its children, no Jaina child, or old Jaina ever asks, “Who created the world?” … Because they have been conditioned, from the very beginning, that the world exists from eternity to eternity; there is nobody who is a creator, and there is no need. Hence the question does not arise.

The Buddhist never asks the question, “What is God, where is God?” because Buddhism does not believe in God — so the child has been conditioned in that way. When you ask about God you think that it is your question — it is not. You may have been born in a Hindu family, in a Christian family, in a Jewish family, and they have conditioned your mind that there is a God. They have given a certain image of God, certain ideas about God. And they have created you with such fear that to doubt is dangerous.

A small, tiny kid is being made afraid of the eternal hell where you will be thrown into fire, alive, and you will burn but you will not die. Naturally the doubt does not seem to be so significant to take such risk. And you are motivated that if you believe, simply believe, all pleasures, all joys of life are yours. Believe, and you are on the side of God; doubt, and you are on the side of the devil.
The small child is bound to buy whatsoever crap you are giving him. He is afraid. He is afraid to be alone in the night, in the house, and you are talking about eternal hell: “You go on falling and falling into darkness and deeper darkness, and there is no end to it, and you can never come out of it.” Naturally the child simply shrinks from doubting, becomes so afraid that it is not worth it. And belief is so simple. Nothing is expected of you — just to believe in God, the son, the holy ghost… just to believe that Jesus is the son of God, and the messiah… and he has come to redeem the whole of humanity… and he will redeem you too.

Why not be redeemed so cheaply? You are not asked much. Just believe, and everything will be settled in your favor. So why should you choose doubt? You should naturally choose belief. And this happens at such a small age — and then you go on growing, and the belief and the conditioning and the ideas and the philosophy all go on top of it — that it is very difficult to dig and find out that there was a day when you were also full of doubt. But the doubt has been crushed, put out of sight. There was a day when you were reluctant to believe, but you have been persuaded. All kinds of rewards have been placed before you.

You can persuade a little child just by giving him a toy — and you have given him the whole paradise. If you have succeeded in persuading him to believe, you have not done a great miracle. It is very simple exploitation. Perhaps you are doing it unknowingly; you have also been passed through the same process. And once you close the doors of doubt you have closed the doors of reason, thinking, asking, inquiring. You are no more really a human being. The doors of doubt closed you are just a zombie, hypnotized, conditioned; persuaded out of fear, out of greed, to believe in things which no normal child is going to believe if all these things are not arranged. And once you stop doubting and thinking, then you can believe anything whatsoever. Then there is no question.

I can give you back Only from your innocent childhood, and only from there a real inquiry into truth begins. Only from there religion is possible; otherwise you can only talk about religion.
(Excerpted from: From Unconsciousness to Consciousness, Chap-13, Q-1)
A small boy gave the following summary of his Sunday school lesson:
“There were these Jews who had broken out of a prison camp in Egypt. They ran and ran until they came to a wide lake. The prison guards were closing in so the Jews jumped into the water and swam out to some boats that were waiting for them. The guards got in submarines and tried to torpedo the boats, but the Jews set off depth charges and blew up all the submarines and made it safe to the other side. Everybody called the Admiral by his first name, Moses.”

The boy’s father asked, “Son are you certain that is what your teacher told you?”
“Dad,” responded the boy, “if you can’t believe my story, you would never believe the one the teacher told.”
Now, telling children stupid stories you are not helping the to become religious; on the contrary, you are helping them to become anti-religious. When they grow up they will know that all those religious doctrines were fairy-tales.
Your God. your Jesus Christ, all will turn into Santa Claus later on in the child’s mind — deceptions, fables, to keep children occupied. And once the children know that what you have been telling them as absolute truth is just lies and nothing else, you have destroyed something very valuable in their being. They will never become interested in religion at all.

My own observation is that the world is becoming more and more irreligious because of religious teaching. No child should be taught any religious doctrine.
Yes, when you are praying, let the child be present there. When you are dancing, let the child be present there. And the child will soon join you — how can the child resist joining a dance? Let the child know that life has grace in it; let the child know that life is not only suffering but much ecstasy too. Let the child know that laughter is good, divine, that love is good, godly.
And these things are not to be taught: they have to be imbibed by the child. You have to create the vibe. And then sooner or later the child will start becoming aware of many more things which cannot be seen just by the physical eyes. Because you will have given him more sensitivity. Otherwise you can go on teaching him, and nobody even remembers. How much do you remember that was taught to you? Nobody even remembers; everything is thrown in the garbage.

Three Italians were driving fast on the expressway when their car collided with a truck and they were instantly killed. Finding themselves at heaven’s door, they knocked and God answered. “What do you want?” God asked.
“We want to come in,” they replied.
God said, “Before you can enter you must answer a question.” He pointed to one Italian and said, “You, Vito, tell me, what is Easter about?”
Vito paused, then with an Italian accent answered, “Thatsa when there are lotsa parades alla over America! Fireworks are shot at night and the people go ona picnics. Itsa celebrated in July.”

“Sorry, Vito,” God said, “but you must go to hell.”
Pointing at Pietro, God said, “You, Pietro, tell me what Easter is about?”
Pietro smiled and replied, “I know, God, thatsa when some time ina November the family gathers together and eatsa turkey, pumpkin pie, potatoes….”
“Sorry, Pietro,” God said, “you must go to hell.”
Looking at Giuseppe, God said, “You, Giuseppe, you have been an altar boy for ten years. You go to church every Sunday. You tell me what Easter is about.”

Giuseppe replied, “Thatsa when the people who did not like your poor son and what he said hung him upa on a cross. For three hours your son he hang there before he died. Thena his mother and friends, they take him down from the cross, wrap his body up and put the body in a cave and they roll a huge stone in front of the cave. For three days your son was in the cave and on the third day he wakes up from the dead, rolls back the stone, goes out of the cave. Hea no seea his shadow, so he goes back in for sixa more months.”

You can go on teaching… nobody is listening. Children are helpless; they have to go to the Sunday school, so they go. They have to listen, so they listen — but they are not there. And later on they say and they know that all that was just nonsense. They may not say, but they know certainly that that was all nonsense.

Maria, this is not the way to help the world become more religious. This is the way we have tried for centuries — and we have failed. Instead of the earth becoming more religious, it has become more and more irreligious every day. As the teaching has spread, as there have been more and more missionaries and more and more teachers and more and more people indoctrinating others, the world has turned more and more irreligious — not only irreligious but anti-religious too.

It is time to understand that something IS basically wrong. This is not the way to teach religion; religion can only be caught and not taught. Yes, it happens with a Jesus, because Jesus creates the space where it can happen.

A disciple once asked Jesus, “What is prayer?”

Do you know what he did? He simply fell on his knees and started praying; tears started rolling down his cheeks. This is creating a space. Now he is creating PRAYER itself! What is the need to say anything?

Seeing it, the disciple fell on his knees — for the first time he felt the tremendous beauty of surrender, and a great joy in feeling grateful to God. Tears started flowing down his cheeks too. They were both crying — in joy, in gratitude.
Finally, Jesus asked him, “Now do you know what prayer is.”
And he nodded; he said, “Yes, Master. Now I know what prayer is.”

This is the way to teach. Not giving theoretical answers, not giving absurd, outdated, metaphysical doctrines, which may have looked relevant one day, but now they look simply stupid. Now say to a child that God created the world just four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ, and the child will smile at you. And the child knows that “Either you are befooling me, or you are in utter ignorance.”

THE WORLD HAS EXISTED for millions of years. In fact.there has never been a beginning. God is not the creator in reality but the creativity. To say to a child that God finished the world in six days and then rested on the seventh day because he was tired — now, that means that since then he has not bothered about us at all.

A man went to his tailor and asked him, “How long is it going to take for my suit to be ready? You have been promising it already for six weeks, and you say again and again, ‘Come again, come again…’ And do you know? — God created the world in only six days? And in six weeks you have not been able to even create my suit.”
And do you know what the tailor said? The tailor said, “Yes, I know — and look at the world, then look at my suit, and you will see the difference. The world is in a mess. This is what happens when you create something in six days.”

(Excerpted from: The Fish in the Sea is Not thirsty, Chap-5, Q-3)
When the Eisenbergs moved to Rome, little Hymie came home from his school in tears. He explained to his mother that the nuns were always asking these Catholic questions and how was he, a nice Jewish boy, supposed to know the answers?

Mrs. Eisenberg’s heart swelled with maternal sympathy. “Hymie,” she said, “I’m going to embroider the answers on the inside of your shirt, and you just look down and read them the next time those nuns pick on you.”
“Thanks Mum,” said Hymie, and he didn’t bat an eye when Sister Michele asked him who was the world’s most famous virgin. “Mary,” he answered.
“Very good,” said the nun. “And who was her husband?”
“Joseph,” answered the boy.
“I see you have been studying. Now, can you tell me the name of their son?”
“Sure,” said Hymie, “Calvin Klein.”
(Excerpted from: The Golden Future, Chap-2, Q-2)
Little Ernie was getting very tired of the long sermon at the church. In a loud whisper he asked his mother, “If we give him the money now, will he let us go out?”
(Excerpted from: Satyam ShivamSundaram, Cahp-11, Q-1)
The fourth question
Question 4
How can we teach children to be moral and religious?
ARE YOU MAD? Are you asking me this question or to Ayatollah Khomaniac? To whom are you asking this question? You should go to Ayatollah Khomaniac.

I teach a religionless religion and I teach an amoral morality. It will be almost impossible for you, Krishnaraj, to understand. Your very question shows that you are not acquainted at all with my vision, with my way of looking at things.

The first thing: you are not to teach children religion and morality; you have to learn from them because they are far more closer to God than you are. They have come just now from God’s home; they are still carrying the fragrance. You have forgotten completely they have not yet forgotten; it will take time for them to forget. It will take time for them to be conditioned by you and destroyed by you. And that’s what you are asking me: how to destroy them, how to destroy their religiousness, how to destroy their morality, how to destroy their authenticity, how to destroy their sincerity — in short, how to destroy their intelligence.

Intelligence is the source of all religiousness and morality, and children are more intelligent than you are. Learn from them rather than trying to teach them. Drop this stupid idea that you have to teach them. Watch them, see their authenticity, see their spontaneity, see their watchfulness, see how alert they are, how full of life and joy, how cheerful, how full of wonder and awe.

Religion arises in wonder and awe. If you can feel wonder, if you can feel awe, you are religious. Not by reading the Bible or Gita or Koran, but by experiencing awe. When you see the sky full of stars, do you feel a dance in your heart? Do you see a song arising in your being? Do you feel a communion with the stars? Then you are religious. You are not religious by going to the church or by going to the temple and repeating borrowed prayers which have nothing to do with your heart, which are just head affairs.

Religion is a love affair — love affair with existence. And children are in that affair already. All that is needed from your side is not to destroy them. Help them to keep their wonder alive, help them to remain sincere and authentic and intelligent. But you destroy them. That’s what you want, actually, by asking this question: “How can we teach…?”

Religion can never be taught, it can only be caught. Are you religious? Have you the vibe of religion around you? Then you will not ask such a stupid question. Then your children will learn it just by being with you. If they see you with tears of joy watching a sunset, they are bound to be affected; they will fall silent. You need not tell them to be silent; they will see the tears and they will understand the language. They will see the sacredness of your tears; they will fall silent of their own accord. They will sit silently by your side. They will also watch the stars or the sunset or the moon.

Have they seen you dancing around a rosebush when roses have opened in the early morning and the air is fragrant? Have they seen you dancing around the roses? They will ask you, “Can we also participate? Can we also dance with YOU?”
In fact, if they want to dance you will say, “Stop this nonsense! Come to the temple with me, and pluck all the roses so that we can offer them to God.’lThis is religion? The roses were already offered to God; they were already dancing in the breeze, in the sun. Plucking them you have killed them. You have killed the living roses and now you are going to offer them to a dead God! Some stupid God that you have made, invented. Just a stone which you have painted and put into a temple.Of course.this kind of religion has to be forced because children are intelligent people, very intelligent people. They resist this kind of enforcement. This is trying to destroy their freedom and to destroy their intelligence.

Watch the intelligence of the children. And whenever you find intelligence, rejoice in it and help them and tell them that “This is the way you should go on moving.”
Dad criticized the sermon, Mother thought the organist made a lot of mistakes. Sister did not like the choir’s singing. But they had second thoughts when the young son piped up, “Still, it was a pretty good show for twenty pence.”
The owner of a chicken farm wanted to make his son behave better, so he devised an object lesson.
“Do you see, my son? The chickens that were bad were eaten by a fox.”
“So?” replied his son. “If they had been good, we would have eaten them!”

Two six-year-olds were examining an abstract painting in a gift shop. Looking at a blotch of paint: “Let us run,” said one, “before they say we did it!”
A father returned home from his usual day at the office and found his small son on the front steps looking very unhappy.
“What is wrong, son?” he asked.
“Just between you and me,” the boy said, “I simply can’t get along with your wife.”
>A father took his young son to an opera for the first time. The conductor started waving the baton and the soprano began her aria. The boy finally asked, “Why is he hitting her with his stick?”
“He is not hitting her, he is just waving it in the air,” replied the father.
“Then why is she screaming?”
You just watch small children a little bit; you just see their intelligence.
Johnny was just home after his first day at school.
“Well, darling,” asked his mother, “what did they teach you?”
“Not much,” replied the child. “I have got to go again.”
A young boy came to his first day of school in America. Since he was an Italian immigrant he spoke no English at all. So the school principal sent out an announcement that anyone who could speak Italian should please report to the office.

Soon a scruffy young boy showed up. “Do you speak Italian?” they asked him.
“Sure!” said the boy. “I live in an Italian neighborhood; I speak it all the time.”
“Good,” they said. “We need your help in translating. First ask him what his name is.”
“Okay. Hey, kid! What’s-a ya name?”
And that did! That is enough Italian.
If you watch small children, their inventiveness, their intelligence, their constant exploration into the unknown, their curiosity, their inquiry, you need not teach them any beliefs.

And what is religion in your mind, Krishnaraj? — teaching certain beliefs. And no belief is religious, all beliefs make people stupid. Religion is an experience, not a belief. You will make them Hindus or Mohammedans or Christians, but that is not making them religious. And you are not interested, in fact, in making them religious; you are interested in making them Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians. You want them to belong to your fold and you are afraid of their intelligence. You want to kill it and destroy it before it is too late — before they start revolting, before they start thinking on their own. It is a greatest crime to force children into any religious belief. Help them to understand and tell them to find their religion.

You don’t allow children to vote; for political ideology they have to wait for twenty-one years, then you think they are ripe enough to vote. And for religious ideology they are ripe enough when they are five or four! Do you think religious education is of lower grade than the political education? Do you think to belong to a political party needs higher intelligence, more maturity, than to belong to a religion? If twenty-one years is the age for political maturity, then at least forty-two years should be the age for religious maturity. Before forty-two years nobody should choose any religion Inquire, search, explore, and explore all over the place, explore in every possible direction.

And when you decide your religion on your own it has significance: when it is imposed on you it is a slave; when you choose it, it is a commitment, it is involvement.
The Protestant booklet that I was just talking about also mentions one fact: that one thing has to be learned from Rajneesh and his sannyasins — that why they feel so committed. why they feel so involved, so deeply in love. No Christian seems to be so deeply in love with Christ. Why are they so in love with their own Master? There must be some reason behind it that has to be explored.

The reason is clear-cut: sannyas is not imposed upon you, you have chosen it. The same was the case with the disciples of Jesus, with the disciples of Buddha. But it happens only when the Master is alive; when the Master is gone…
In fact, children should be allowed to choose their own Masters. Parents should not enforce their own ideology on their children. If you really love your children, don’t teach them any religion. Yes, give them the feel of being religious, give them the feel of prayerfulness. And that you can give not by telling them how to pray but by just being in prayer yourself. If they see you in prayer they will catch. Prayer is contagious. They will start asking you, “How we can also participate in the prayer?” If you sit in meditation and they see the silence and the serenity and the stillness surrounding you and a certain aura that arises out of meditation, a certain radiation, they are bound to be interested in it. They are always interested in everything new.

And morality is a byproduct of religion. When one feels in the heart religion arising, a relationship, a communion with existence happening, one becomes moral. It is not a question of commandments, it is not a question of shoulds and should-nots; it is a question of love, compassion.
When you are silent, a deep compassion arises for the whole existence, and out of that compassion one becomes moral. One cannot be cruel, one cannot kill, one cannot destroy. When you are silent, blissful, you start becoming a blessing to everybody else. That phenomenon of becoming a blessing to everybody else is true morality.
Morality has nothing to do with so-called moral principles. These so-called moral principles only create hypocrites: they create only pseudo people, split personalities. A schizophrenic humanity has come about because of thousands of priests, so-called saints and mahatmas and their continuous teachings: “Do this, don’t do that.” You are not helped to be aware, to see what is right and what is wrong. You are not given eyes, you are simply given directions.

My effort here is to help so that you can open your eyes — to uncover your eyes, to remove all kinds of curtains from your eyes, so that you can see what is right. And when you see what is right you are bound to do it, you cannot do otherwise. When you see what is wrong you cannot do it; it is impossible.
Religion brings clarity and clarity transforms your character.
(Excerpted from: Zen: The Special Transmission, Chap- 6, Q-4)
Beloved Osho,
You often tell us that we should not judge ourselves or other people.
I am a teacher and because of my job I have to judge the students.
Now that I am going back to Italy, I am worried about how I shall manage with my job. Can you give me some help?
KaloShreeman, my saying that you should not judge does not mean that you cannot say to a student, because you are a teacher, “The answer you have brought is not right.”
It is not judging the person, it is judging the act. And I am not telling you not to judge the act — that is a totally different thing.

For example, somebody is a thief — you can judge that stealing is not good. But don’t judge the person, because the person is a vast phenomenon and the act is a small thing. The act is so small a piece… that small piece should not become a judgment about the whole person. A thief may have many beautiful values: he may be truthful, he may be sincere, he may be a very loving person.
When I say don’t judge a person, I am not saying that you are not allowed to say that somebody is committing a mistake. Somebody is falling into a well — I am not saying that you should just stand silently without judging. This judgment, “Don’t go that way” — perhaps that man is blind and you have to prevent him; otherwise he will fall into the well. But preventing him, seeing that he is blind, does not mean that you are condemning him. The moment you start thinking in terms of condemnation then judgment enters, and I am against that kind of judgment.

One student is doing something which is not right. You are a teacher, your very function is to put the student on the right path. It is your love, it is not your condemnation; it is your compassion, not your judgment. But most often what happens is just the opposite: people start judging the person rather than the action. Actions have to be corrected — and particularly in a profession like teaching, you have to correct; you cannot allow students to go on doing wrong things. That will be very cruel, uncompassionate.

I have been a teacher myself, but I have never judged a single student as far as his person, his being is concerned. But that does not mean I have not corrected them if they were wrong. For example, I was sitting one day with the vice-chancellor. He loved to talk with me whenever he could get a chance and could find me, because I was very rarely present. And most often I avoided passing by his office because he used to tell his peon that if he saw me, to just bring me in. He loved to talk; he enjoyed a good argument.

I was talking with him, and a girl came crying. So he said to me, “Just a moment,” and he asked the girl, “What is the matter? Why are you crying?” She said a certain boy, a student in her class had been harassing her for almost the whole year. “He throws small pebbles at me in the class, he writes letters to me.” And the vice-chancellor said, “Don’t be worried, I will call him and put him right; such things cannot be allowed. He will be punished, you don’t be worried. And if he does not stop, I will expel him from the university.”

I was listening, and I said, “Just wait a minute. I want to ask the girl a few things.”
He said, “Of course, you can ask. If you can help in the matter, it will be very good.”
I asked the girl, “Are you really hurt by his throwing pebbles at you and writing love letters to you? Be honest! The day he does not write a love letter to you, don’t you wait for it?”
The vice-chancellor said, “What are you talking about?”
I said, “You just keep quiet. When I am talking, you just be a gentleman — keep quiet.” The girl stopped crying. I said, “Do you understand? If no young man harasses you, will you feel good? Don’t you know there are girls who are not harassed by anybody, and they are suffering?”

The vice-chancellor said, “What are you saying?”
I said, “You keep quiet, I am going to solve the matter completely. I will talk to that boy also.”
He said, “You need not talk, because the way you are talking…”
I said, “Now I have taken the matter in my hands.” I asked the girl, “Are his love letters not written well? Then I can teach him how to write love letters! Because every girl wants love letters — I don’t see that there is anything unnatural in it.”
Now the vice-chancellor was boiling! He said to the girl, “You go away.”

I said, “She can go only when you answer a few questions in front of her. When you were a student, just remember those old days — those beautiful days. Have you not written love letters to girls?”
He looked at me, he looked at the girl, and he said, “My God, what…” For a moment he was silent.
I said, “Be honest!”
He said, “Yes I have written…”
I said, “And just a moment before, you were expelling that boy from the university and you had forgotten completely.”
Every young man will write letters, and if somebody does not write, the function of the teacher is to help him: “Are you a dodo or what?”

As far as my classroom is concerned, from the very first day I entered after the long summer vacations, my first thing was… because in India the girls sit on one side, boys sit on another side, and in between there is a big space. My first thing was, “Just get mixed.” They would look very embarrassed….
I said, “Just get up, and you can choose whomsoever you want, but get mixed! I cannot tolerate this stupidity because this is the cause — you have to throw stones, you have to write letters… What is the need? Just sit next to each other, and if you want to say something, whisper. Whisper — I can stop; I can give you time. For fifteen minutes you do whatsoever you want to do. I will keep my eyes closed and meditate, so that after fifteen minutes we can concentrate on the subject matter. This is more primary.”

Students were very much afraid of me. With hesitation they would mix up; still they would sit so that they would not touch each other. I said, “What nonsense — do you think each other untouchable? Sit relaxed. And if you want to nudge the girl, or the girl wants to nudge you, it is perfectly okay; nature demands it. And because you are prevented, then you start ugly behavior. Now, taking the air out of the girls’ bicycles — that I don’t think is natural! That is sheer stupidity. Harassing them on the road, saying ugly dirty words — I don’t think that is right, nor is it worthy of you.

“If you want to say something, write a beautiful love letter. If you don’t know how to write, I am here — I am available. Anybody, male or female, can come to the common room where I sit. I will teach you how to write love letters.”
My class was the most silent class, and I told the vice-chancellor, “Sometime you can come and you can see — nobody is doing anything to anybody because they are allowed; I accept it as my responsibility that they should be allowed to be as natural as possible. Every girl should feel that she is loved, desired, that there are people who look at her with loving eyes. Every boy wants to be loved. And this is the time when they should pass through these experiences.”

I said to the girl, “What do you want? Tell me exactly. Do you want the boy to be expelled?”
She said, “No.”
“Do you want him not to write letters to you?”
She said, “No.” The vice-chancellor said, “Then why have you come here?”
I said, “It is very simple — she simply wants your attention. She wants to say to the world that she is being loved, somebody is writing love letters, and without telling others there is no joy in the thing. The whole world should know that she is no ordinary girl — exceptionally beautiful — people are throwing stones.”

The vice-chancellor said to the girl, “Now you go, because listening to such things… he can even spoil me. You just leave the room, and if you don’t want to do anything against that boy, never come again.” And when the girl had gone, he said, “You should not do such a thing, because if people come to know…”

I said, “In fact, you are afraid of your wife, it is not about people. And I am going to tell your wife that this old man is teaching… in front of me, he has been teaching that love letters are natural.”
He said, “You were saying natural!”
I said, “You were listening silently! Do you agree with me or not?”
He said, “I agree, but don’t go to my wife — that is the only woman I am afraid of.”
I said, “Then you have to behave.”

Just don’t judge so quickly, and don’t judge the person. Judge actions, and correct them, and Butdon’t correct them according to tradition, convention, according to so-called morality, according to your prejudices. Whenever you are correcting somebody, be very meditative, be very silent; look at the whole thing from all perspectives. Perhaps they are doing the right thing, and your prevention will not be right at all.

So when I say, “Don’t judge,” I simply mean that no action gives you the right to condemn the person. If the action is not right, help the person — find out why the action is not right, but there is no question of judgment. Don’t take the person’s dignity, don’t humiliate him, don’t make him feel guilty — that’s what I mean when I say, “Don’t judge.”

But as far as correcting is concerned: unprejudiced, silently, in your awareness, if you see that something is wrong and will destroy that person’s intelligence, will take him on the wrong paths in his life, help him.
The job of the teacher is not just to teach futile things — geography, and history, and all kinds of nonsense. His basic function is to bring the students to a better consciousness, to a higher consciousness. This should be your love and your compassion, and this should be the only value on which you judge any action as right or wrong.
But never for a single moment let the person feel that he has been condemned. On the contrary, let him feel that he has been loved — it is out of love that you have tried to correct him.

Conrad was six years old. Although he was six, he had never spoken a word. His parents took him to the psychiatrist, but it didn’t help. But one evening at the dinner table, Conrad looked down at his plate of food and said, “Take away this muck, it tastes terrible!”
His parents were elated and wept with joy. “You can talk!” cried his mother. “How come you’ve never spoken before this?”
“Up to now,” said Conrad, “everything has been fine!”
Don’t judge people — try to understand them. Now he is saying such a beautiful thing: “What is the need to speak when everything is going fine? Only for the first time something is terrible!”

A guy lying in a hospital bed, coming around from an anesthetic, wakes up to find the doctor sitting beside him. “I have got bad news and good news for you,” says the doctor. “Would you like the bad or good first?”
“Aaagh,” groans the guy, “tell me the bad.”
“Well,” says the doctor, “we had to amputate both your legs above the knee.”
“Aaagh,” groans the guy, “that’s really bad.”
After recovering from the shock, he asks the doctor for the good news.
“Well,” said the doctor, “the man in the next bed would like to buy your slippers!”

Just don’t be serious! Don’t think that you are a teacher so you are in a very serious job. Look at life with more playful eyes… it is really hilarious! There is nothing to judge — everybody is doing his best. If you feel disturbed by somebody, it is your problem, not his. First correct yourself.
(Excerpted from: The Invitation, Chap-25, Q-3)

[A new sannyasin says: I’m a nursery school teacher, I teach children of fouranda-half to five years old.Is there anything you can say to help me to do this job as beautifully as possible?]
Very good work.To be with children is one of the most beautiful things. But one has to learn it, otherwise it can be the most tedious thing in the world. One has to love it, otherwise it is one of the most boring things. It can drive you crazy. It can bring a nervous breakdown, because children are so noisy, so uncivilized, uncultured… animals; they can drive anybody crazy. One child is enough to drive anybody crazy, so a whole lot of children, a whole class of children is really difficult. But if you love, it is a great discipline.

So don’t only teach them — learn, too, because they still have something which you have lost. They will also lose it sooner or later. Before they do, learn from them. They are still spontaneous, they are still fearless. They are still innocent. They are losing it fast faster.
The more civilization grows, the sooner childhood ends. Before, it used to end somewhere near fourteen, fifteen, sixteen. Now even a child of seven years is no more a child. He starts becoming mature. Maturity comes sooner now because we know better methods to condition, to structure.

So it is good, with four and five-year-olds, to become four or five years old. And don’t think that you know and they don’t know. Listen — they know something. They know more intuitively. They are not knowledgeable, but they have a vision, a very clear vision. Their eyes are still unclouded and their hearts are still streaming. They are still unpolluted. The poison has not yet started. They are still natural.
So with them don’t be knowledgeable. Don’t be a teacher — be a friend. Befriend them and start looking for cues for innocence, for spontaneity, for intelligence. You will be helped tremendously and your meditation will go very deep.

(Excerpted from: The Passion for the Impossible, Chap-21)


[The sannyasin who started the ashram school says: I just don’t understand what it means to be a teacher to children here… ]
Yes, that is right — it will be a totally different thing! It will be a totally different thing….
It can’t apply here. A few things to remember, and then you can work them out…. The first and the most basic is that we are not to enforce any pattern on the children. We have just to help them to be themselves. So there is no ideal that has to be enforced on them. You just have to be a caring atmosphere around them, so whatsoever they want to do you can help them to do better. Just help them to do it better. And they are not in any game, ambition-game.

We are not trying to make them very very powerful, famous, rich, this and that, in their life, no. Our whole effort here is to help them to be alive, authentic, loving, flowing, and life takes care. A trust in life — that’s what has to be created around them, so they can trust in life. Not that they have to struggle but can relax. And as for education, just help them to be more creative. Painting is good — they should try painting — or creating something else, but let it be creative; let them do things on their own. And don’t bring in your criterions.
For example, when a child paints, don’t bring in adultish criterions; don’t say that this is not Picasso. If the child has enjoyed it and when he was painting he got absorbed in it, that’s enough. The painting is great! Not because of any objective criterion — the painting may be just nonsense; it may be just colours splashed, may be messy…. It has to be because a child is a child; he has a different vision of things.

For example, if a child makes the face of a man he has a different vision. He will make very big eyes; the nose will be very small. The ears may be missing — he has never looked at them — but eyes are very important for him. If he makes a man he will make the head and the hands and the legs and the torso will be missing — that is his vision. For you it is wrong but from his standpoint that is how he looks at a man: hands, legs and head.
So it is not the question that you have to judge whether the painting is good or bad. No, we are not going to judge at all. Judge ye not. Don’t make the child feel good or bad about it. If the child is absorbed in painting it, that’s enough. He was in deep meditation, he moved with the painting utterly… he was lost in it! The painting is good because the painter was lost.

Help the child to be completely lost, and whenever a child is painting on his own, he will be lost. If you force him to paint then he will be distracted. So whatsoever the children want to do, let them do; just help them. Mm ?you can help in many technical ways. You can tell them — if a child wants to paint — how to mix colours, how to fix the canvas, how to use the brush; that you can help with. Be a help there; rather than being a guide, be a help.

Just as a gardener helps the tree… You cannot pull the tree fast; you cannot do anything in that way, nothing can be done positively. You plant the seed, you water, you give the manure, and you wait! The tree happens on its own. When the tree is happening you protect it so somebody does not hurt it or harm it. That is the function of a teacher: the teacher has to be a gardener. Not that you have to create the child; the child is coming on its own — god is the creator.

That’s what socrates means when he says, ‘I am a midwife.’ A midwife does not create the child. The child is already there, ready to come out; the midwife helps.
So help them to be creative, help them to be joyous, because that has disappeared from the schools. Children are very sad, and sad children create a sad world. They are going to inhabit the world, and we destroy their joy. Help their joy, help their celebration, make them more and more cheerful. Nothing is more valuable than that. If they are not doing mathematics it is perfectly okay, because mathematics is not the point. The point is joy!

If they are not learning language, forget about it; they are learning something far more valuable. In this atmosphere of joy help them to learn two things — language and mathematics. History is meaningless bunk!
Just two small things — a little mathematics will be needed in their life. And about that too: we are not to make them great mathematicians, just a little mathematics so they can figure out things. And language it needed so they can communicate. They can read poetry, they can enjoy the great works.

And there is going to be no examination. There is going to be no gradation of who is first and who is second. Everybody is just the same. We make the space available for them to learn — they all have learned according to their capacities but who are we to judge? So no gradation, no examination. And when children are a little grown up let them learn practical things — carpentry, pottery, weaving — and they will enjoy all those things. When they are still more grown up let them learn something about electricity, cars, mechanisms, technology, but practical things.

That’s why the other day I said the university that is going to be will be rajneesh international anti-university. We will make everything anti: no examinations, and the vice chancellor and the chancellor will not have any degrees. Only sweepers and cleaners will have degrees!
And you have to work it out soon because when we move, then at least one hundred children will be immediately available….
Start working so it takes some shape before we move. Because there you have to start a full-fledged school. But it is going to be a totally different kind of school, because I am all for de-schooling society.

Man can be saved only if society is de-schooled or if totally different kind of schools which cannot be called schools are evolved; then only humanity can be saved.
So no ambition should be there, no comparison ever. Never compare a child with another and say, ‘Look, the other has done a better painting!… That is ugly, violent, destructive. You are destroying both the children. The one you say has done a better painting starts getting the idea of the ego, superiority, and the one who has been condemned starts feeling inferior. And these are the illnesses — the superior and the inferior — so never compare!
It will be difficult for you and other teachers because comparison is so much in us. Never compare. Each child has to be respected on his own. Each child has to be respected as unique.
(Excerpted from: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There; Chapter #16)



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