My picture, and the locket in the mala, is simply symbolic

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Beloved Master,
A few people are feeling not to wear their malas or red clothes, but they consider themselves Rajneeshees and want to live here. How does this fit your vision?

There are no Rajneeshees, and there is no Rajneeshism. That was also part of this fascist regime.

You cannot be Rajneeshees because there exists nothing like that. Even I am not a Rajneeshee, so how can you be? So, first thing, forget that you are a Rajneeshee.

Second thing, the mala and red clothes are symbolic of the commune. If you don’t want to wear the mala and red clothes, then pack your luggage and get lost. This is not your place, and we don’t want you to be here.

This only shows how the mind moves to extremes. Either you will be a slave or you will be licentious, but you cannot be a free individual.

Shoveling chillis

Your red clothes are your identification that you have dropped all old conditionings, that you are the sunrise of the new man and of the new humanity.

The mala has one hundred and eight beads. It represents the one hundred and eight methods of meditation. Any method will do. It is just to remind you continuously that one hundred and eight doors are open to bring you into light, and you are unnecessarily groping in darkness. Choose any method. I have spoken extensively on all the methods of meditation.

Dropping the mala simply means forgetting the symbolic meaning of the mala. Dropping the mala means that you don’t want to meditate. If you don’t want to meditate, then what the hell are you doing here? It is a meditation commune.

And why were you not walking around without the mala and without red clothes before? Cowards!

When everything was being done against humanity and against you and against the law, that was the time to revolt. That time you were just docile. And now, because nobody is forcing you, you are walking around without the mala and without red clothes. You can walk, but that means walk out. And we don’t want anything to do with such people, because these are the people who will again force the same structure.

My picture, and the locket in the mala, is simply symbolic. It is not something sacred. It is symbolic of your freedom from all religions the way I am free! It is symbolic that you are my fellow travelers. It is symbolic of your love.

It is difficult, of course, for me to hang around my neck one million lockets to show my love. It is easier for you.

On the one hand you address me, “Beloved Master” – and you cannot have the mala and the locket. I know the reason. In the outside world, everywhere you will go you will be condemned, you will not be accepted. You will be misfits. And I want you to face the world, rather than get lost into the crowd. My picture is enough. You will not be accepted anywhere. So you can decide. If you don’t have the courage to be rejected everywhere – in your family, in your friends, in your society – you are free. Nobody has told you to become sannyasins. You have become sannyasins on your own accord.

Naturally, if you don’t want to remain sannyasins, you are perfectly welcome. But not on the streets of Rajneeshpuram.

Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Ch 9, Q 3

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