Osho explains, “The India that you know, I have already left… But for whomsoever wants to seek and search and be, India still provides the best climate – spiritual climate, I mean.”

Osho reading Hindi paper

Q: Why won’t you leave India? Those dim-witted politicians in New Delhi will be the last people in the world to understand what is going on here.

It is difficult for me to leave India. India has something tremendously valuable: it has the longest, deepest search for truth. Many Buddhas have walked on this land, under these trees; the very earth has become sacred. To be here is totally different than to be anywhere else, and what I am trying to bring you is more easily possible here than anywhere else.

India has fallen from its peaks. It is no longer in its past glory. It is one of the ugliest spots now on the earth, but still, because a Gautam Buddha walked, and a Mahavir and a Krishna, and millions of others…

No other country can claim this. Jesus is very alone in Jerusalem; Mohammed is very very alone in the Arabian countries; Lao Tzu has a very small company, Chuang Tzu and a few others. They tried hard to create something. But India has the longest spiritual vibe: for at least five thousand years the search has been deepening, and still the waters are flowing.

Indians themselves have forgotten about them. In fact they are no longer interested in their own heritage. They are no longer interested in those living waters they have deserted them. But for whomsoever wants to seek and search and be, India still provides the best climate – spiritual climate, I mean.

Indians have become very materialistic, that is true, but with so many Buddhas the release of their energy still pulsates in spite of the Indian materialism. Indians have become really materialistic, far more materialistic than any country in the world. And great hypocrisy exists, because they go on claiming to be religious, and they are no more. My own observation is that now the Indian mind is more and more materialistic, more gross than any other mind. Their whole interest is in money, in power-politics, in material things.

Just a few days ago I told Laxmi to purchase the most costly car possible in the country. One thing good about Laxmi: she never asks why. She purchased it. It worked – it was a device. Laxmi was knocking on the doors of the banks to get money for the new commune. We need much money; nearabout five crore rupees will be needed. Who is going to lend that much money to me? The day she purchased the car, seeing that we have the money, banks started coming to her office, offering, “Take as much money as you want.” Now she is puzzled: from whom to take? Everybody wants to give on better terms, and they are after her.

I have been working in India for twenty years continuously. Thousands of people have been transformed, millions have listened to me and many more have been reading what I am saying, but the Times of India, the most conventional newspaper of India, still the most British, has not published a single article about me or my work. But the day Laxmi purchased the car there was a big article – on the car, not on me!

Now they are all interested. The news of the car has been published all over the country, in all the newspapers, in all the languages. Now what kind of people are these? Their interest is not in me, not in meditation, not in the thousands of people who are meditating here. They are completely unaware of what is happening here, but they became interested in the car.

They come here. Many people come to the office not to see me or to see you: they inquire, “Can we see the car?” Laxmi says to them, “You can come to the early morning discourse, and you can see the car too.” And poor fellows – they have to come and listen for ninety minutes just to see the car. What a torture! And these are rich people, educated people. Can you think of a more materialistic country?

And they are very worried, and editorials have been written on the car: they ask, “Why? Why can’t you live a simple life?” My life is absolutely simple: so simple really, that I am always satisfied with the best kinds of things. It is absolutely simple. What more simplicity is possible? In a single sentence it can be said: the best kinds of things. There is no complexity about it. I like quality. I’m not interested in how much it costs but in the quality. I like quality in people, not quantity. I like quality in everything, not quantity. We could have purchased thirty Indian cars instead of this one, but that would have been quantity – and even thirty wouldn’t have been of any use.

But their puzzle, why they can’t understand it, is that they pretend to be religious, but deep down their whole obsession is materialistic. They carry a hypocrisy, and to fulfill their hypocrisy the whole Indian religious world has to compromise. If somebody wants to become a saint he has to live in utter poverty. It is almost a kind of masochism; he has to torture himself. The more he tortures himself, the more people think he is religious: “See how religiously he is living!”

To live religiously means to live joyously. To live religiously means to live meditatively. To live religiously means to live this world as a gift of God, but their minds are obsessed and they can’t understand. Once the purpose of the car is served, it will be gone. The purpose is almost served, but it can show you.

I can even come in a bullock cart. It would be even more colorful, and I would enjoy the ride more.

They come here and they look, and their whole point is “Why such a beautiful ashram?” They want something dirty, shabby, a sloppy place, and then it is an ashram. They cannot believe that the ashram can be clean, beautiful, with trees and flowers, and comfortable. They cannot believe it. And not that they don’t want comfort for themselves; they are hankering for it. They are, in fact, jealous. The Indian mind has become materialistic, grossly materialistic.

A spiritual mind makes no distinctions between matter and spirit; it is undivided. The whole existence is one: that is the spiritual mind. The materialist, even if he loves a woman, reduces her to a thing. Then who is a spiritualist? A spiritualist is a person who, even if he touches a thing, transforms it into a person.

You will be surprised by my definition. A spiritual person is one who, even if he drives a car, the car becomes a person. He feels for the car, he listens for its humming sound. He has all affection and care for it. Even a thing starts becoming a person, alive; he has communion with the thing too. And a materialistic person is one who, even if he loves a man or a woman, a person, immediately reduces them into a thing. The woman becomes a wife – the wife is a thing. The man becomes a husband – the husband is a thing, an institution. And all institutions are ugly, dead.

You ask me, “Why won’t you leave India?”

This India that you see in the newspapers, this lndia I have already left. The India that you know, I have already left. Have you ever seen me going out of the gate? I live in my room. Whether this room is here or anywhere else, I will live in the room; it will be the same. I have left this India already. I am not concerned with this India that you come to know through radio, television, newspapers – the India of the politicians, of the hypocrites, of the masochistic mahatmas. I have left it already.

But I cannot leave. There is a hidden India too, an esoteric India too, where Buddhas are still alive, where you can contact Mahavir more easily than anywhere else, where the whole tradition of the awakened ones is like an undercurrent. I can’t leave that. For me, there is no problem; I can leave, I will be the same anywhere. But for you it will not be the same.

I want to use that undercurrent for your transformation; it will be easier. Unknowingly, unawares, you will be surrounded by the Buddha-vibe. And once the new commune is established, you will see miracles happening, because I can make that undercurrent available to you in its totality. That would not be possible anywhere else.

Nowhere else has religion lived so tremendously as it has lived in this country. Just as science is a western by-product, religion is an eastern by-product. If you want to learn science you have to go to the West, because the sources are there. The whole western mind is such that science comes out of it very easily. That was the case, as far as religion is concerned, in the East, and the East is synonymous with India.

You are not aware, you cannot be aware of what I am intending to do. These are all devices, so never start making a conclusion when you see something. You may not be aware of its background, you may not be aware of the intention, you may not be aware of what is going to happen through it.

Now Laxmi knows that the car has helped her tremendously. Once its work is finished it can be gone. Never take anything on its face value here, things have hidden meanings; they are devices.

The new commune is going to become a river of all the Buddhas. You will be able to use all that great energy easily. We will make a great reservoir of it. You will be able to live and breathe in it, and you can ride on those tidal waves and move to the unknown.

So I cannot leave India.

Osho, The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2, Ch 4, Q 3 (excerpt)