I made them free – saying that you need not wear red clothes, you need not wear a mala, it is not compulsory anymore – simply to drop all the load of responsibility that they were unknowingly putting on me. They were hoping that just by wearing red clothes and putting the mala on, their work was finished, that now it is my responsibility to make them enlightened. I dropped that. They think that I was giving freedom to them; in fact I was simply making my own life as light as possible. I was simply dropping unnecessarily imposed responsibilities.
And finally, not to let them feel that they were inferior to me in any way, I told them, “I am your friend and you are my friend.” And the people who wanted it, who had been waiting for it, rejoiced. But the people who understood cried and wept.
Now in Rajen’s groups even my name is not mentioned. What is the need of mentioning the name of a friend? You have many friends – you don’t mention their names.
Teertha has made an academy. Devageet was there; he worked hard to find the place, to arrange it, hoping that it was going to be Osho’s meditation academy. But when he saw the board being put up it said simply “Meditation Academy.”
He asked, “But no mention of Osho?”
And Teertha and Vedana and others who were involved in it simply said, “We are all friends – why put Osho’s name there?”
They printed a brochure, and Devageet was saying to me, “I cried, and I had to fight almost physically because your name was not even mentioned in the brochure. It was not even mentioned that the meditations they will be teaching have something to do with you. They all have their pictures in the brochure, but your picture is not there.” Because he fought so much, finally they agreed to put in a picture of me, a strange picture, an old picture that nobody would recognize – it must be a picture taken by someone in ‘74 – and that too a small picture, and without mentioning my name or saying anything about who the person is.
Devageet, simply out of disgust, left the place. And now these same people are trying to have a world festival – in which my name is not mentioned. There is no need, naturally, to mention the name of a man who is your friend; you have many friends! But they will be exploiting the sannyasins.
The strategy is very clear because I have been seeing: when they advertise their groups in our newspapers, newsletters, magazines, then they are in orange clothes with the mala. None of them is using red clothes or mala, and in the group not even my name is mentioned. But in advertisements, to attract sannyasins to participate in the groups, all of them are publishing their pictures with malas, with orange dress – as if they are old sannyasins.
Just to make these people feel at ease, I withdrew myself from their lives. But, Vivek, you need not be worried about it. Those who love me, those who know me, know perfectly well that I am their master, and they have traveled a long way with me, in devotion and love. And of course, it is impossible for them at any moment – even if they become enlightened – to call me a friend. That will be simply ungratefulness.
Again, I remember Sariputra: