"There is always something about your success that displeases even your best friends. I have been asked again and again why America destroyed our commune, and I have answered, "Because we were so successful." If we had not been successful nobody would have cared. But because we were successful in transforming a desert -- which had never produced anything green -- into a beautiful oasis, even friends became enemies."
"Nobody can tolerate your success. When you are a failure, everybody has the upper hand; he sympathizes with you, he says, "Poor fellow..." But nobody goes to the successful man to congratulate him; it hurts."
"I am happy that the richest country in the world became jealous of a small commune of five thousand people. It has proved indubitably that money does not change people, or their mind."
"I could have understood it if our commune in India would have been as successful as it was in America... but I am certain in India we would have been destroyed exactly on the same lines. In fact, they are trying, because we are still gathering, things are returning... people are coming again, and the fear in New Delhi is great. It is strange: they have all the power, but still they cannot see people happy, joyous, creative, loving and living their own way, living their own style, living in freedom."
"Because the whole world is living in slavery, the free man cannot be tolerated. The whole world is a failure. Even the richest are still beggars because they want more. What is the difference?... A beggar wants more, the emperor wants more -- their minds are functioning in the same way."
"The commune became the target of the whole of American politics, and particularly the fundamentalist Christians -- because they were not so successful in two thousand years in bringing a smile to people's faces, bringing light to their eyes, bringing silences to their hearts. I had never thought that they will become jealous. I thought they had everything -- why should they be jealous of our cars or our airplanes, our roads, our turning the desert into an oasis? They should have been happy and helpful."
"But this is not the way insane people function. They became afraid that an authentic communism is happening -- a communism which is not imposed from outside, which has no dictatorship. Just out of the joy of creation, people are creating. This became more dangerous to them than the Soviet Union. It is absolutely out of all proportion.... But success hurts even your best friends, and failure even brings your enemies to sympathize."
"One hopes one day things will be totally different. Success will receive its reward, and failure will receive all the support that can transform it into success. But that is not the thing: sympathy is empty. And destroying success is absolutely necessary, because people start comparing: What has the government been doing? -- the richest government, the most powerful government, which could have changed the whole of America into a paradise."
"But even in America, though they don't talk about it, there are thirty million beggars. Their news media people come to India to photograph beggars, to propagate to the whole world that India is a beggar. But nobody knows that America has thirty million beggars -- and by a very strange coincidence, thirty million people who have been eating too much, they are hospitalized. Thirty million are dying on the streets, and exactly thirty million are eating their food... and dying."
"And on those thirty million who have become overfed, millions of dollars are wasted because doctors, nurses, medicines... And nobody is bothering about the thirty million people who don't have food, who don't have shelter, who don't have anything, who can't think that tomorrow will be any different. If tomorrow they can get some food to eat, they will be immensely happy."
"Anybody who has a little intelligence can change this whole world within ten years, not more than that."
"I provoked Ronald Reagan and his company, because I absorbed three hundred beggars into the commune. And those beggars were surprised and shocked because for the first time they were treated as human beings. Letters were written by beggars to me: "We had been treated almost like stray dogs. We had forgotten completely that we are human beings. You have revived our respect, our dignity; you have made us again human."
"Nothing was different for them, they were not treated in a different way; they mixed in the commune. That was my fault... and Ronald Reagan began a whole strategy to destroy this commune. Now three hundred, tomorrow three thousand... and these people will create a situation that the American government will not be able to cope with, although they have all the weapons. They can kill, but they cannot cope."
"And their democracy -- I have seen -- is such a hypocrisy, so ugly, that everything against the commune and me has been done illegally, so obviously illegally that although I don't know any law, even I could say to them, "This is absolutely illegal."
"I was asked in the jail not to write my name, but to write instead the name, David Washington. I said, "I don't understand. That is not my name. You are forcing me into an illegal act. I will not write that name... Do you think I am an idiot? Can't I see your whole plan? I write David Washington and tomorrow you poison me, and the world will not be even able to trace where I have disappeared, because your register will not show that I ever entered, so the question does not arise that you have killed me."
I said, "Forget all about it. You write whatever you want to write. If you want David Washington, write David Washington." And that law-imposing authority they call marshal in America was asking me to do such an illegal act....
I said, "You should have at least removed your coat on which a great seal shows: Marshal, Department of Justice. Be ashamed, at least, of your coat. You write, I will sign."
He thought that was a good compromise, so he wrote my name, David Washington – and I signed my name. He looked at it... and my signature is such that even a man who knows Hindi cannot understand it. He said, "What is it?"
I said, "It must be David Washington. If my name is David Washington, this is David Washington."
I said, "I have made it clear. My signatures are world-known. Don't try to be clever and cunning. If anything happens to me you will be caught for two reasons: my name is written in your handwriting, and my signature is well-known. It is not something personal; it is almost copyrighted in all the countries. Everybody knows my signature, and nobody knows what it means."
"Their plan failed. Just before sunrise I was shifted to another jail, because what was the point? -- now they could not kill me in that jail, and to keep me there was dangerous, because a young woman was also brought on the airplane, sitting by my side. She had seen me speaking on the television many times, so she said, "I am immensely glad that I have the chance for a few hours to sit by your side. I know everything is being done to you illegally. They have not issued any arrest warrant, and they arrested you; they have not shown any reason, any cause, and they have not bailed you."
"For three days the government attorney continued to argue, and finally his last statement was, "We don't have any proof, any evidence, and we cannot legally ask the magistrate to prevent this man from being bailed out. But the government wants that he should not be bailed out." And America has been proclaiming to the whole world that their justice department is absolutely separate from their administrative bureaucracy."
"And I was not given bail, although they could not prove any reason why I was arrested, why no arrest warrant was issued from the court, why I should not be bailed out. Still, the government wants that I should not be bailed out...."
"Only in very few moments have I felt my respect for women falling. I have always respected women, and I have given them superiority. But once in a while women have done such ugly acts against me that I had to think twice whether to continue to give them respect or to withdraw it."
"The magistrate was a woman, and she did not allow the bail. Even the jailer on the way back to jail from the court told me, "I am surprised... this is the first time. There was no reason at all for anything, they had nothing against you. I had prepared all your clothes and everything so that you can be released; there is no reason to prevent you. But now I know why you have not been given bail: that woman has been blackmailed, she has been told that she will be made a federal judge"... she was an ordinary state judge, and becoming a federal judge is tremendously prestigious. I used to think that women have heart. That day I hesitated a little."
"Now they have turned the desert again into a desert; they did not allow us to sell the property. One man was ready to purchase it at forty million dollars -- which was nothing, because the property was worth at least three hundred million dollars. Even the government has appraised it at one hundred million. We were ready to give it to him for forty, but the government did not give us the permission to sell it. The man was suffering from cancer and doctors had said he could not live more than one month. If it can be stopped for one month, it will be easy... then the property cannot be sold."
"The man died within a month, and even to the last day he was trying hard. The moment he died, immediately the permission was given, but the permission was given in such a way that any buyer of the property... The government has been preventing, creating a thousand and one difficulties. In one year the desert has settled slowly back. Strange -- they will be happy only when it becomes a desert."
"Success is never forgiven."
"If you see so many people against me around the world, that is nothing but a measurement of my success. If all the prime ministers and the presidents and the popes and the Shankaracharya are against me, the reason is that they are local, ordinary people.
I am the first world citizen -- and that hurts them very much."
(The Great Pilgrimage # 12)
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