My declaration of human rights consists of ten fundamental things:
The first is life.
Man has a right to dignity, to health, a right to grow, so that he can blossom into his ultimate flowering. This ultimate flowering is his right. He is born with the seeds, but the society does not provide him the soil, the right caring, the loving atmosphere.
On the contrary, society provides a very poisonous atmosphere, full of anger, hatred, destructions, violence, war. The right to life means there should be no wars anymore. It also means that nobody should be forced into armies, forced to go to war; it is everybody’s right to refuse. But this is not the case.
Thousands of people are in prisons ― particularly young people, sensitive and intelligent ― because they refused to go to war. Their denial has become a crime ― and they were simply saying that they don’t want to kill human beings.
Human beings are not things you can destroy without a second thought. They are the climax of universal evolution. To destroy them for any cause ― for religion, for politics, for socialism, for fascism…it does not matter what the cause is; man is above all causes, and man cannot be sacrificed on any altar.
The right to life is possible only in a certain, different atmosphere that is not present on the earth at the moment. Animals are killed, birds are killed, sea animals are killed, just for game. You don’t have any reverence for life. And life is the same whether it is in human beings or in other forms. Unless man becomes aware of his violence towards animals, birds, he cannot be really alert about his own right to life. If you are not caring about others‘ lives, what right have you got to demand the same right for yourself?
But the whole of humanity is non-vegetarian; they are all eating other life forms. There is no reverence for life as such. Unless we create an atmosphere of reverence for life, man cannot realize the goal of getting his fundamental right of life.
Secondly, because the UN also declares life to be a fundamental right for man, it is being misused. The pope, Mother Teresa, and their tribe are using it for teaching people against birth control, against abortion, against the pill. Man’s mind is so cunning. It was a question of human rights ― they are taking advantage of it. They are saying you cannot use birth control methods because they go against life; the unborn child also has the same right as you have. So some line has to be drawn, because at what point…?
To me, the pill does not destroy human rights; in fact it prepares the ground for it. If the earth is too overcrowded, millions of people will die of starvation; there will be wars.
The right to life is a complex thing. Nobody is entitled to kill anyone, either, in the name of religion. Millions of people have been killed in the name of religions, in the service of God. No one should be killed in the name of politics. Again, the same has happened. Joseph Stalin alone killed one million people, his own people, while he was in power. Adolf Hitler killed six million people. And thousands of wars have happened.
It seems that on this earth we are doing only one thing: reproducing children because soldiers are needed, reproducing children because wars are needed.
It seems man is nothing but a necessary instrument for more destruction, more wars.
The population has to be reduced if man wants to be, to have his dignity, honor, his right to live ― not just to drag, but to dance. When I say life is a fundamental right, I mean a life of songs and dances, a life of joy and blessings.
My second consideration is for love.
Love should be accepted as one of the most fundamental human rights, and all societies have destroyed it. They have destroyed it by creating marriage. Marriage is a false substitute for love.
If two people want to live together, they don’t need any permission from any priest or any government. They need the permission of their hearts. And the day they feel that the time has come to part, again they don’t need anybody’s permission. They can part as friends, with beautiful memories of their loving days. Love should be the only way for men and women to live together. No other ritual is needed.
Children should be accepted not as their parents‘ property ― they belong to the whole humanity. You should not possess your children. You can love them, you can bless them, but you cannot possess. They belong to the whole humanity. They come from beyond; you have been just a passage. Don’t think more than that about yourself. Whatever you can do, do.
Once love is free, it will prepare the ground for other fundamental rights.
The third most fundamental right… because these are the three most important things in life: life, love, and death.
Everybody should be given the fundamental right that after a certain age, when he has lived enough and does not want to go on dragging unnecessarily…. Because tomorrow will be again just a repetition, he has lost all curiosity about tomorrow. He has every right to leave the body. It is his fundamental right.
It is his life. If he does not want to continue, nobody should prevent him. In fact, every hospital should have a special ward where people who want to die can enter one month before, can relax, enjoy all the things that they have been thinking about their whole life but could not manage ― the music, the literature…if they wanted to paint or sculpt….
And the doctors should take care to teach them how to relax. Up to now, death has been almost ugly. Man has been a victim, but it is our fault. Death can be made a celebration; you just have to learn how to welcome it, relaxed, peaceful. Let them live for one month at least like emperors, so they can leave life with no grudge, with no complaint but only with deep gratitude, thankfulness.
The fourth: the search for truth.
Nobody should be conditioned from childhood about any religion, any philosophy, any theology, because you are destroying his freedom of search. Help him to be strong enough. Help him to be strong enough to doubt, to be skeptical about all that is believed all around him. Help him never to believe, but to insist on knowing. And whatever it takes, however long it takes, to go for the pilgrimage alone, on his own, because there is no other way to find the truth.
The search for truth…you should not teach anybody what truth is because it cannot be taught. You should help the person to inquire. Inquiry is difficult; belief is cheap. But truth is not cheap; truth is the most valuable thing in the world. You cannot get it from others, you will have to find it yourself.
And the miracle is, the moment you decide that „I will not fall victim to any belief,“ you have already traveled half the way towards truth. If your determination is total, you need not go to truth, truth will come to you. You just have to be silent enough to receive it. You have to become a host so that truth can become a guest in your heart.
Right now the whole world is living in beliefs. That’s why there is no shine in the eyes, no grace in people’s gestures, no strength, no authority in their words. Belief is bogus; it is making castles of sand. A little breeze and your great castle will be destroyed.
Truth is eternal, and to find it means you also become part of eternity.
Fifth: to find the truth, all education systems from the kindergarten to the universities will create a certain atmosphere for meditation.
Meditation does not belong to any religion, and meditation is not a belief. It is a pure science of the inner. Learning to be silent, learning to be watchful, learning to be a witness; learning that you are not the mind, but something beyond ― the consciousness ― will prepare you to receive truth.
And it is truth that has been called by many people, „God,“ by others, „nirvana.“ By others, other names have been given to it, but it is a nameless silence, serenity, peace. The peace is so deep that you disappear; and the moment you disappear you have entered the temple of God.
But strange it is, that people are wasting almost one-third of their lives in schools, colleges, and universities, not knowing anything about silence, not knowing anything about relaxation, not knowing anything about themselves. They know about the whole world ― it is very weird that they have forgotten only themselves.
And because it is not part of any religion, there is no problem ― it should be all over the world, in every school, in every college, in every university. Anybody who comes home from the university should come with a deep, meditative being, with an aura of meditation around him. Otherwise, what he is bringing is all rubbish, crap. Geography he knows: he knows where Timbuktu is, he knows where Constantinople is, and he does not know where he is himself.
The first thing in life is to know who you are, where you are. Then everything in your life starts settling, moving in the right direction.
The sixth: freedom in all dimensions.
Freedom in all dimensions means that man, wherever he is born, is part of one humanity. Nations should dissolve, religions should dissolve, because they are all creating bondages.
No child should be given any idea by the parents what life is all about ― no theology, no philosophy, no politics. He should be made as intelligent and sharp as possible, so when he comes of age he can go in search. And it is a lifelong search. People today get their religion when they are born. In fact, if you can get your religion when you die, you have found it early. It is such a precious treasure, but it is possible only out of freedom ― and freedom in all dimensions, not only in religion.
There should be no nations, no national boundaries. There should be no religions. Man should be taken as man. Why confine him with so many adjectives? Right now he is not free in any way.
Man’s basic right is to be himself.
And in an authentic human society, everybody should be allowed to be himself ― even if he chooses just to be a flute player, and he will not become the richest man in the world but will be a beggar on the streets.
Still I say freedom is so valuable…. You may not be the president of the country, you may be just a beggar playing the flute in the streets. But you are yourself, and there is such deep contentment, fulfillment, that unless you know it you have missed the train.
Seventh: one earth, one humanity.
I don’t see any reason at all why there should be so many nations. Why should there be so many lines on the map? And they are only on the map, remember. They are not on the earth; neither are they in the sky. And the map is man-made. Existence has not created this earth in fragments.
Start from anywhere; just let the whole of humanity be one, and the nations will disappear, the lines will disappear. It is our world ― one humanity, one earth, and we can make it a paradise. Right now there is no need to describe hell. You can just look all around; it is here.
Looking around the earth, man is in such misery and suffering that there seems to be no need for another hell. But we can change the whole situation. This earth can become a paradise. And then there will be no need for any paradise; paradise will be empty.
Eighth: uniqueness of every individual.
I teach not equality, not inequality ― I teach uniqueness. Every individual is unique and needs to be respected in his uniqueness. Because every individual is unique, the birthright should be: equal opportunity for their growth of uniqueness.
Man is unique, and everybody should be respected as a world in himself. He is neither inferior to anybody nor is he superior to anybody; he is alone. In this aloneness there is beauty. You are no longer a mob, a crowd; you are yourself.
Ninth: a world government.
I am absolutely against governments. I am for one government for the whole world. That means no war will be possible; that means there will be no need to keep millions of people in armies unnecessarily. They can be productive, they can be helpful, and if they are merged into humanity, all poverty will disappear.
One world government means a tremendous change, a revolution. The whole earth will be benefited by it.
And tenth: meritocracy.
Democracy has failed.
For every post, the person who is chosen should be chosen by experts. The health minister should be chosen by all the doctors, the surgeons, the medical experts, the scientists who are working in the medical field. Then we will have the cream of our genius, and we can depend on this cream to make the life of all humanity more peaceful, more blissful, more rich.
This idea I call a meritocracy.
Before the world government happens, each nation should pass through a meritocracy. And once we have enjoyed the fruits of a meritocracy then these people will be able to understand that if we can combine the whole world into one government, life can certainly be a joy, worth living ― not to renounce, but to rejoice.
Up to now, whatever has happened has been accidental. Our history up to now is nothing but a history of accidents. We have to stop this. Now we have to decide that the future is not going to be accidental. It will be created by us; and to create our world can be the greatest creation possible.