"IT is absolutely impossible for a political man to be religious, because the ways of politics and religion are diametrically opposite." "You have to understand that it is not a question of adding something to your personality – religion is not an addition. If you are political, you can be a painter, you can be a poet, you can be a musician; these are additions."
"Politics and music are not diametrically opposite; on the contrary, music may help you to be a better politician. It will be relaxing, it will help you to get unburdened of the whole day and the anxieties that a politician has to go through. But religion is not an addition, it is a diametrically opposite dimension."
"So first you have to understand the political man, exactly what it means."
"The political man is a sick man, psychologically sick, spiritually sick."
"Physically he may be perfectly okay. Usually politicians are physically okay, their whole burden falls on their psyche. You can see that. Once a politician loses his power he starts losing his physical health. Strange... when he was in power, so burdened with so many anxieties and tensions, he was physically perfect."
"The moment power is gone, all the anxieties are also gone; now, they will be somebody else's business. His psyche is unburdened, but in that unburdening all his sickness falls on his body. The politician suffers, as far as his physiology is concerned, only when he loses power; otherwise politicians tend to live long, physically well. Strange, but the reason is that their whole sickness is taken by their psyche, and when the psyche takes on the whole sickness, then the body can live unburdened. But if the psyche releases all its sickness, where is it going to go? Lower than the psychic is your physical existence – all sickness falls on the body. Politicians out of power die very soon. Politicians in power live very long. It is a known fact, but the cause is not well known."
"So the first thing to be understood is that the political man is psychologically sick, and psychological sickness tends to become spiritual sickness when it becomes too much, when the psyche cannot hold it any more. Now, be careful: if the politician is in power, then his psychic sickness is bound to spread to his spiritual being, because he is holding his psychic sickness, so it does not fall downwards. It is his power, he thinks it is his treasure; he won't allow it to fall down."
"I am calling it sickness. To him it is his whole ego trip. He is living for it; there is no other purpose for him. So when he is in power he holds his sickness tightly, but he does not know anything about the spiritual realm, so those doors are open. He cannot close those doors; he has no idea that there is something more than his mind. When he is in power, his psychological sickness, if it is too much, after a certain point overflows his psyche and reaches to his spirituality. If he is out of power then he tends not to hold all that stupidity. Now he knows what it was, now he is aware that it was nothing worth holding. And anyway there is nothing to hold; the power is gone, he is a nobody."
"Out of desperation, he relaxes – perhaps I should say, relaxation comes to him automatically. He can sleep now, he can go for a morning walk. He can gossip, he can play chess, he can do anything. Psychically he finds himself loosening. The doors that he had kept closed between his psyche and the body start opening, and his body is bound to suffer now: he may have a heart attack, he may get any kind of sickness; everything is possible. His psychic sickness will flow to the weakest part of his body. But in power it flows upwards, towards his being, of which he is unaware."
"And what is the sickness?"
"The sickness is the inferiority complex."
"Anybody who is interested in power is suffering from an inferiority complex; deep down he feels himself worthless, inferior to others."
"And certainly in many ways everybody is inferior You are not a Yehudi Menuhin, but there is no need to feel inferior because you never tried to be, and it is not your business. Yehudi Menuhin is not you either; so what is the problem? – where is the conflict?"
"But the political mind suffers from a wound of inferiority, and the politician goes on scratching the wound. Intellectually he is not an Albert Einstein – he compares himself with giants – psychologically he is not a Sigmund Freud.... If you compare yourself with the giants of humanity you are bound to feel completely shrunk, worthless. This worthlessness can be removed in two ways: one is religion, the other is politics."
"Politics does not really remove it, only covers it. It is the same sick man, the same man who was feeling inferior, who sits as a president. But just sitting on a chair as the president, what difference can it make to your inner situation?"
"The ego is so subtle and so slippery. And the politician is sick because of his ego. Now there are two ways: either he can cover the wound by becoming a president, a prime minister.... He can cover the wound, but the wound is there. You can deceive the whole world but how can you deceive yourself? You know it. It is there, you have covered it."
"This is the situation of the politician – just pus, wounds, inferiority, feeling worthless. Yes, he has reached higher and higher, and on each step of the ladder, the hope was that on the next step the wound would be healed."
"Inferiority creates ambition, because ambition simply means an effort to prove yourself superior. There is no other meaning to ambition but an effort to prove yourself superior. But why make an effort to prove yourself superior unless you are suffering from inferiority?"
"People reach to the highest rung of the ladder, then they become aware that their whole life has been a wastage. They have arrived, but where? They have arrived to the place for which they had been fighting – and it was not a small fight; it was tooth and nail – and destroying so many people, using so many people as means, and stepping on their heads."
"You have arrived at the last rung of the ladder but what have you gained? You have simply wasted your whole life. Now even to accept it needs tremendous courage. It is better to go on smiling and go on keeping the illusion: at least others believe that you are great. You know who you are. You are exactly the same as you were – perhaps worse, because all this struggle, all this violence has made you worse."
"You have lost all your humanity."
"You are no longer a being."
OSHO (Excerpts from: The Rajneesh Bible Vol. II # 15)
"If you feel like going into politics, just think what you can contribute, or you will also become part of the whole dirty game that goes on in the name of politics."
You are asking me, "Should I get into the gutter?" I will not prevent you. If you enjoy it is perfectly okay with me! But always remember, don't take part in anything unless you are ready so that you can improve it, you can give it some refinement -- not only about action, but also about talk. Cogglin's Law is: Don't talk unless you can improve the silence. It is a tremendously beautiful statement: Don't talk unless you can improve the silence -- very insightful.
"Don't go into politics unless you can improve humanity and you can improve people's humbleness... not getting into a competitive will to power, because that kind of thing happens only when you are feeling empty inside...."
"You think you will be exploring a new dimension through the gutter? Through the gutter you will get into a deeper gutter, a bigger gutter, the main gutter. It is not a dimension; it is simply falling from your intelligence, it is not maturity. A certain retardedness is absolutely necessary in politics. If you feel you qualify...! You have to be continuously lying, you have to be promising things which you know perfectly well you cannot deliver...."
"A certain cruelty, inhumanity, cunningness are the basic requirements for you to become a politician. So I am worried whether you have all these prerequisite conditions. Innocence is of no use; that will bring failure. Silence is of no use, truthfulness is of no use, to be sharply intelligent is no use. And remember one thing: politics gives you power, but it gives you power by making you a beggar. All politicians are beggars, whether they may be presidents or prime ministers. Every five years, and they are standing on your door with their begging bowl. They are, in fact, servants of the people. At least they have to pretend after each five years. For five years they can believe they are masters, but they cannot befool anybody of intelligence."
"And this reminds me that the people from whom you are going to beg for votes are ignorant, prejudiced, are not contemporaries. They belong to past centuries, many centuries back; they are superstitious. If you want to have their votes, you have to fall to their standard; they are not going to rise to your standard."
"To be a politician is a tragedy. But still, if you want to make your life a tragedy I have no objection. The whole politics around the world misses anything significant for the future. It is too much concerned with trivia, small, ugly conflicts. It is not interested in reality to improve the destiny of humanity, to give new dreams to people, to bring more poetry into their lives. On the contrary, it destroys their dreams, it destroys their hopes; it destroys their trust in other human beings, because they have been continuously cheated by the politicians, exploited."
"Oscar Wilde has said, "A map of the world that does not include utopia is not worth glancing at." But no politician can remain successfully in politics with a utopian mind; he has to be practical, pragmatic. He has to forget fundamental things, that through wrong means you can never reach the right end. Only the right means justify the rightness of your ends. But no politician can manage to follow right means towards right ends. He may talk about right ends, right values, but all his means will be wrong, and through wrong means you never reach to right ends; they don't connect."
"You have to be mean. You have to be destructive. If needed, you have to commit all kinds of crime. If you can do all these things, only then you can become a politician. It is an absolutely foolish and absurd game."
"A politician has to say things which he does not mean but which satisfy people. He can never speak his mind; in fact, people who have gone deep in understanding the psychology of politics, say in politics mind is not needed at all. We don't see any politician functioning in a way that shows his genius. There have been millions of geniuses, nobody was attracted towards politics, only very mediocre people. In a way they represent the unintelligent, unevolved masses. They are the representatives of the slaves.
"Politics is a strange world, but if you want to have some taste of the ugliest part of human beings, you can go into politics. Just remember one thing: going in is easy, getting out will be very difficult, almost impossible. It is getting into deep imprisonment by your own desires. But there are people who are jailbirds; they like prison. I have known many politicians; I have not seen anything worthwhile in their lives. They have staked everything just to be in power. And what will these people do with power? They will create more wars, they will create more weapons, they will create more possibilities for a global suicide."
"These are my ideas about politics, but these are my ideas, you don't have to follow them. If you are feeling a certain urge for power, go into it. Of course I cannot bless you. I will feel sad and sorry for your going in a wrong direction, but I cannot prevent you either, because any interference in your life is against my whole approach. So please, meditate over it."
"The politician can turn at any time into a criminal. We see it happening throughout history, and still we don't become aware. Joseph Stalin before he came to power was not a criminal. He had not killed a single human being, he was not a murderer. But what happened when he came to power?"
"The first thing he did was to destroy the whole twelve-member committee, the communist presidium which ruled over the whole communist party – the topmost leaders. He started killing them one by one."
"He killed Kamenev, then he killed Zinovyev, then he killed Trotsky. He went on killing them one by one, and while he was killing one, he took the support of all the others. And they all were happy that there was one less; the power was coming into fewer and fewer hands, and that was better."
"From twelve, there were only nine people, then there were only six people. He poisoned Lenin who was the topmost man of the revolution. The second man was Trotsky. Once he succeeded in killing Trotsky – Trotsky was killed here in America, in Mexico, because he had escaped. Seeing Zinovyev and Kamenev being killed, he escaped."
"You will not believe that when he escaped in disguise... and he was a minister, the defense minister of the Soviet Union. All the military, all the forces were under him, and he had to escape in disguise, and in such a hurry because Stalin was just getting ready to finish him. It was a question of two or three days, not more than that. The moment he became aware of it, the same night he escaped."
"And he could not bring his dog, whom he loved very much. Stalin killed even the dog – it was "Trotsky's dog... such criminal minds! And he sent a hired murderer to kill Trotsky in Mexico."
"Trotsky was writing Joseph Stalin's biography, which is one of the most profound biographies ever written because he knew Stalin as nobody else knew him – Trotsky was the second topmost man in the revolution. Stalin was nowhere; he was somewhere around eleventh or twelfth. But Trotsky was alert that this man was dangerous... because he never spoke, he was always keeping quiet, everything about him was secret. His friends, who are his friends? His enemies, who are his enemies? Nothing was ever revealed. Trotsky was concerned about this man – he seemed to be a dangerous type. So he started collecting facts about him."
"And when Stalin started murdering, the procedure that was adopted was a beautiful conspiracy: Lenin was given daily poison in the name of medicine. The doctor was a hired man of Stalin. The poison was to be given in such small doses that it would kill him over a long period of time. While he remains alive, he remains the leader because the masses still know him. He should not die right now, because if he dies right now then Trotsky will be the man to control the country. Before Lenin dies Stalin should make his base solid, and all others should be removed, so after Lenin, Stalin will be the second man. So he had to be kept alive but almost in a coma. He became paralyzed and slowly, slowly was dying. He was confined to his bed; his eyesight was disappearing, and whatsoever Stalin was bringing him, he was signing it – he could not read it. Stalin killed everybody necessary, and then he killed Lenin, then the last dose was given to Lenin."
"The time that Trotsky remained in Mexico he devoted to writing the biography of Stalin. It is a rare book because never has an enemy written a biography with such great insight, with such profundity, with no hatred – just factual, no fiction. He was killed when he was completing the last page. It remains incomplete – the last page. It is a big biography, near about twelve hundred pages. He was writing the last page when he was killed with a hammer from the back. The hammer was hit on his head many times. His head fell on the book and splashed the blood onto the last page. In a way, that made the book an absolutely authoritative biography of what he had been saying all along about how people had been killed. He was killed on the last page; he died on the book, and the first edition was printed with the blood marks.
Stalin had never killed a single man before; he had never committed a single crime. In fact, his education had happened in a Catholic monastery – he was a Christian, and the monks had raised him. He lived in the monastery because his village was far away in the Caucasus, and the monastery was the only place where education was possible, so his father had left him there; he was a poor man. The monks at the monastery, out of compassion, accepted the boy, trained him, educated him – and this is what he turned out to be. After gaining power he must have killed millions of people. There is no way to count them; he simply went on killing. Anybody who was not for him was to be killed. There was no other punishment. He made it very simple: "Either you are for me, or you are no more."
"The politician is basically a criminal. He is trying to find power through legal methods, that is the difference. The criminal does not bother about the legal methods, and gets caught. The politician never gets caught – or only once in a while like Nixon got caught in Watergate. And do you know what Mao Tse-tung said when Nixon was caught? "What is this? So much fuss about nothing. Every politician is doing it!" In fact every politician is doing it. Watergate was not something exceptional that Nixon was doing. All over the world, all the politicians who are in power are doing the same kinds of things; they are just not getting caught. It was a misfortune that he got caught, and couldn't manage.."
"In fact I have a certain respect for Nixon. A man like Stalin in Nixon's place, or Mao Tse-tung, or Adolf Hitler, or Mussolini in Nixon's place would have done something that you cannot imagine – and that idea must have crossed Nixon's mind too. That is a simple method: when things were getting so hot, the best way would have been to drag the world into a war. Then Watergate would have gone down the drain. Then who would have cared about Watergate? All that was needed was that people's attention just had to be diverted. And that's what these leaders would have done – immediately started a world war. Nixon would have remained the president and would have become the greatest president of America. If he had passed through the war and proved himself victorious, he would have proved the greatest man in the whole of history."
"I have a certain respect for the man: that he avoided the criminal idea which was bound to have come to his mind – I can guarantee it. It is so simple. I don't know much politics; although I have been a student of politics I know nothing about active politics. But just being a student of politics, I know with absolute certainty that this idea was bound to have crossed his mind: just put the world into such a chaos that Watergate becomes a small thing compared to the chaos that arises out of a world war. And everybody would have forgotten about Watergate."
"But the man seems to be much more moral than people have thought him. That's why I say I have a certain respect for him. He decided rather to descend and be the first president in American history to come out of the White House with such condemnation. But he accepted the condemnation, the worldwide notoriety, and did not drag the world into a war. He proved more a man than a politician, more human than any other politician would have proved."
"The criminal mind wants power because without power you cannot do anything. Just as the painter needs paints, and the poet needs a great vocabulary, language, the feel of different words and their nuances, the subtle undercurrents that run through words, so the politician knows perfectly well, deep inside, why he is after power. If you are not going to paint and you go on collecting paints, then you are crazy. If you are not going to play music and you go on collecting all kinds of musical instruments, you are mad. Why power?"
"Just the other day I told you that Jawaharlal had invited me to come to him, and I went. He listened to me. I was very young, and he was a great statesman, but he listened to me as silently, as intensively as if I knew much about politics and what had to be done in the country. And he told me, "Why don't you join politics? – because whatsoever you are saying, if you really want to do these things, then you will have to come into politics. Nobody else is going to do it for you, only you can do it. I can understand your ideas, but who is going to implement them? Join!"
I said, "No, because I don't have any interest in gaining power. Whatever I have said to you was just exposing my heart because you have the capacity, the power to do things, the understanding to do things. I simply exposed my heart. I am finished! I am not going to run after power. And I am not asking anybody else, I am asking you. If you feel I am right, then prove it by doing something."
He said, "You are right, but I cannot do these things, because the people on whose support I am standing will not support any of the ideas which you are giving to me. If they come to know that I am going to implement these ideas, I will be simply thrown out. Politics is a pyramid. It goes on becoming thinner and thinner: at the top there is one man. So you see that one man at the top, but that man, underneath him, has three men; those three men have nine men; those nine men have ninety.... And they are all depending on those who are lower than themselves. They are standing on their shoulders. They can throw them off any moment."
"And in politics, once you have the power which you have got from so many people's support you have to fulfill all those people's desires. Somebody has supported you in order to get licenses, somebody has supported you to have an industry started, somebody has supported you for something else – now you have to fulfill their desires. Otherwise, as you are standing on their shoulders, they can move away. The topmost man is a very weak person in a way; he has nothing above him to hold on to. Underneath are people who would not miss a single chance to throw this man out, because if they can throw out this man, then one of those three who are under him will come to the top. So he has to fulfill all kinds of criminal things."
"I know, because that's how Indira came to power: because she was living with her father. She was a born politician; her husband was not. While studying in England they fell in love. The husband was not even a Hindu, not a brahmin. Indira was a brahmin, a very high-caste brahmin, a Kashmiri brahmin. The man she fell in love with, Feroz Gandhi, was a Parsee. The whole family was against it – nobody had ever heard of a brahmin girl marrying a Parsee, a man who was not even a Hindu. It is a totally different religion."
"But she was the only daughter of Jawaharlal, and after Jawaharlal's wife died – she died very early – Indira was the only person close to him. He stood by her and told her, "Don't be worried about your grandfather and your grandmother. I will manage them. First you get married. If you wait for their permission, it will be impossible; even I cannot manage to persuade them. And they will be hurt. It is better that you first get married, and when you come home, married, I will persuade them:'Because nothing can be done now; the marriage has happened."' That's how they got married in the court. But Feroz Gandhi had no interest in politics. Just because he was the son-in-law of Jawaharlal he became a member of parliament, but he had no interest at all; that was not his thing. And for Indira that was the only thing. They started quarreling immediately, and fighting... and soon Indira moved to Jawaharlal's, the prime minister's house, and left Feroz Gandhi. They lived separated, not divorced; but for years they were not seeing each other. All these years she was a watcher of all the politicians, and she was collecting information about each politician: his weakness, his crimes against the society, his exploitation of others, his corruption... and yet on the outside he would go on keeping a pure white Gandhian face."
She was collecting a file – she showed me the file – against every leader, and that was her power. When Jawaharlal died all these politicians were afraid of Indira because she had the key. She could expose anybody before the public, before the court. She had all the evidence, she had all the letters. They were afraid of her for the simple reason that only she could save them; otherwise they would be exposed. That file was her power."
"I have looked into the file. All these people have been exploiting that poor country. They all have bank balances in foreign countries, in Switzerland, in America. They all have connections outside India, from where they get bribes and money and everything, for giving secrets. They are all connected to one country or other; they are agents. They have one face before the masses, the poor masses, their reality is something totally different. And they were also afraid because Indira was absolutely incorruptible. That was one thing she had learned from Jawaharlal. He was incorruptible because he was not a politician; he was more a poet. He would have loved to have been a painter or a sculptor, or any art would have been closer to his nature."
"Politics was just accidental to him, it was almost forced on him – sometimes it happens.... Because he was interested in the independence of India, he fought against the British government, but with no idea that he was going to become the prime minister when the country became free. He had never thought about it. He was just a soldier of the freedom movement, as were many thousands of others. He may have been shot, he may have been killed, he may have been sentenced to death – anything could have happened. There was no question of power."
"When the fight for freedom was over, then the question arose of who is to be in power? Till then there was no question of power at all. The question was how to remove the invaders. He became interested because he was so sensitive a man that he loved the idea of freedom. It had nothing to do with politics; he loved the idea of freedom as a poet. But when freedom came there was a great struggle for who should be the prime minister. There were people like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was a real politician, a solid politician who could commit any crime. He did commit them when he became deputy prime minister. Even Jawaharlal could not stop him."
"And there were others, because in the freedom fight there were thousands of people of caliber. Jawaharlal was the only one who was not interested in politics, not interested in power. That's why Gandhi chose him, because to choose those people who were really interested in power.... In fact their fight for freedom was not a fight for freedom but just a step to reach power. It was a shock to all the politicians because none of them had been chosen by Gandhi to be the prime minister; and Gandhi had total control of the Indian mind."
"Sardar Patel was shocked because he was very close to Gandhi and he was also a Gujarati – Gandhi was a Gujarati – and he had served Gandhi his whole life with total trust. And at the last moment Gandhi simply said to Sardar, "You step down. Don't fight with Jawaharlal. I will make you deputy prime minister but let Jawaharlal be the prime minister."
"Why?" Patel asked.
"And the reason that Gandhi gave was right. He said, "He is the only one who is not interested in power. You will all be fighting with each other; he is the only one who is above all of you." Because Gandhi said, "Be the prime minister," Jawaharlal said okay. When Gandhi had said, in 1942, "You be the second soldier in the freedom fight" – the first was Vinoba Bhave – he said okay."
"If Gandhi had chosen Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to be the prime minister, Jawaharlal was not going to dispute it or say anything. He had actually offered to Gandhi, "Why create so much misery in these people? I can withdraw; they can choose anybody they want. I am not interested, I have never thought about it. I was fighting for freedom and freedom has come, I am happy." So he was not corrupted by his prime ministership. He was the second man to Gandhi, and after Gandhi's death he had the whole monopoly of the Indian mind."
"But Indira was a politician, a born politician. She dropped her husband and forgot about him: politics was more important than the husband. The whole love affair was finished when it became a question of choosing between them. And Feroz became insistent: "Either you be with me or be with your father, the prime minister – I don't care, but this cannot go on. The whole day you are there and you come here for a few minutes, just to say hello, and again you escape and you are in the prime minister's house. You go on his travels with him but you never go anywhere with me." He made it clear that the choice had to be made."
"Indira simply moved out. She said,"There is no question of choice; I belong to politics, and I am going into politics." From her father she learned one thing: that no politician can pull you down if you are incorruptible. Let all of them be corruptible, but you keep an eye out and go on collecting all data about them. And that was her whole power; they could not discredit her because she had never done anything wrong, and she could discredit all of them.
Politicians are legal constitutional criminals."
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