I call a spade a spade

Fri, 26 December 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 8
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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The first question:

Question 1:



Annemarie Muller, there is no goal and there is no way to it. You are already there, you have never been anywhere else. The very idea of the way and the goal is a mind game.

First you create a goal, an ambition, a desire far away in the future, a utopia, worldly or otherworldly, Catholic or communist, and then you start thinking about the ways. But basically there is no goal, hence all ways are false. And once you start trying to achieve the goal, you will get more and more in confusion.

All the ways are just dream stuff, because in the first place you have never left the home, you have only fallen asleep. Adam and Eve have never been expelled from the Garden of Eden, they have only fallen asleep. Eating from the tree of knowledge, the fruit of knowledge, they have become rational beings. That is their sleep; they have lost track of their own heart, they have forgotten about it. But it is there, it has not moved anywhere else.

You are still in the Garden of Eden, you are still in God; where else can you be? There is no other place to be. This is my fundamental approach: that there is no goal, no way, you are not to achieve something. The whole idea of achieving is nothing but an ego trip. First you try to achieve money, power, prestige, and when you fail - which is bound to happen, because the mind goes on asking for more and more - when you are in deep frustration, you start turning into a religious person. But your whole pattern remains the same. You still desire a goal. Now it is no longer money, it is meditation; now it is no longer power but paradise. It is the same game being played with other words. Mind has deceived you, mind has taken you on another trip.

How long are you going to be deceived by your own mind? The emphasis is not on going anywhere but on waking up. For example, three thousand people are here right now; if you all fall asleep, you will all be here, nobody will have left the place but you will all dream separate dreams. Dreams are very private things; in fact there is nothing more private than a dream. You cannot share your dream even with your beloved, you cannot invite your friends to participate in a dream - it is impossible, you are absolutely alone there. A dream is not an objective phenomenon, it is not a reality; it is just an idea which has hypnotized you, so much so that it appears real. The presence of the other will reveal its unreality.

So if you all fall asleep, naturally you will be at different places. Somebody will be in Constantinople, and somebody in Tokyo, and somebody in Beijing, but in reality you will all be here and now. Your places will be different: somebody will be a king, somebody a beggar, and somebody will be a man, and somebody will be a woman, somebody will be very famous, somebody will be just a nonentity. But do you think these things make any difference? You can all be awakened, and all your dreams, separate dreams, different dreams, will evaporate alike.

You say, "I feel that every one of us is at a different place...."

Certainly, but in a dream. One is a sinner, another is a saint; one is a Christian, another is a Hindu; one is white, another is black. All dreams! In your innermost core you are only a pure consciousness, just awareness and nothing else, a pure mirror, not identified with the reflections.

That's the whole effort of a master - to wake you up, not to goad you towards certain goals. If the master goads you towards certain goals he will have great appeal for your mind; your mind will agree with him, because that's what the mind hankers for: new goals, so the journey continues, and the stupidity of it all remains.

The real master shatters all your goals. It is only by the shattering of your dreams that you can be awakened. What do you mean by "persons"? The word 'person' comes from the Greek root PERSONA. Persona means a mask. A person is a false phenomenon, it is a mask, it is not your reality. But the ego wants to be recognized personally. The ego wants to relate personally, the ego wants recognition, attention; otherwise you are not a person. Nobody is, nobody has ever been. It is only on the circumference that the mask can exist and can deceive others. But you must know that it is a mask, a camouflage.

Deep down behind the mask are you a person? No. Not at all. You are only a presence, not a person.

I relate with your presence, not with your personality. How can I relate with your dreams? I relate with you, but not with your dreams. And it is only in dreams that you are separate. In reality we are all one, it is one organic whole.

You say, "I feel that every one of us is at a different place and has a different reason to be here in this life...."

All nonsense. To be frank with you, just bullshit! But the ego goes on playing with this beautiful idea, that "I have a special reason to be here." Every grass blade also thinks the same way, and every pebble on the shore believes in the same way. Ask any dog or buffalo or donkey, and they all believe that they are here for a special reason and they have come to fulfill a certain mission, they have brought a message to the world. And those who want to exploit you go on telling you such nonsense.

Existence has no reason at all; it simply is. That's its beauty. It has no cause to it, it has no direction either, it is not going anywhere, it has nothing to fulfill. That's its beauty, tremendous beauty. It exists for no reason at all; that's its mystery, unfathomable, immeasurable.

If you can know the reason for existence you have demystified it, you have destroyed all its beauty. Then it carries no more meaning, remember. Then there will be no significance. Why is there love? Is there any reason to it? Yes, if you ask the chemist, the physiologist, he will say, "Yes, it is the hormones in the chemistry of your body; lust maybe, but not love." You are more than the sum total of your parts, and in that more exists God. In that irrational element that permeates the whole exists God.

Tertullian is right when he says: CREDO QUA ABSURDUM - I believe in God because God is absurd. Tertullian is one of those great buddhas of the world who have really seen through and through. "I believe in God because God is absurd," is one of the greatest statements ever made, one of the most pregnant statements. To believe in God because there are reasons to believe is not much; then anybody will believe. It is not a quantum leap, it is not jumping out of your mind. All arguments convince the mind, and if the mind believes, it is not religious.

When your heart is stirred by something you cannot express; which cannot be adequately even put into words; out of which no system can be made, no scripture, no religion; which simply leaves you dumb, in deep awe and wonder, in a kind of tremendous shock, all old notions shattered, in silence - you lose all your reasoning, all your argumentation - only then are you in communion with the whole. It is not a question of argument, and you are not here to fulfill something. It is just a celebration:

life for life's sake.

But our minds want something to be nourished by, so your so-called religious preachers, priests, philosophers, theologians, they go on giving you nourishment. They say, "You are sent here for special purposes. You have a special place. Some great work is being done by you." And your ego feels puffed up.

I cannot do it. I am not your enemy. The moment I find any chance I am going to destroy these puffed up egos, spiritual egos, pious egos, religious egos. But the ego is an ego; on what it stands does not matter, on what it is nourished is irrelevant.

No, I don't see that you have a different place; yes, a different dream. And I don't see that you have "... a different reason to be here in this life." There is no reason at all. It is simple celebration. It is the overflowing energy of existence, or God. What is the reason for the waves of the ocean? What is the reason for the rays of the sun? What is the reason for the birds singing? a distant call of the cuckoo? And what is the reason for a dewdrop shining in the early morning sun? What is the reason for a roseflower?

Can't you ever look at life without this business-type mind, always calculating? Can't you put it aside even for a few moments to look at reality as it is? And then you will be surprised: there is no reason at all. Then you can laugh and dance and pray, then only you will have a different quality to your being. The whole will start expressing itself through the part.

But remember again, I am not saying that it will express some special message, that you will become a messiah. I am simply saying the whole will start playing its tremendously absurd game through you without hindrance. It is exquisite, it is beautiful, but it is not arithmetic. It is poetry, it is music, it is dance - art for art's sake. So is life, so is existence. And that approach I call religious.

The second question:

Question 2:



Mukesh Bharti, mind IS politics, because mind is ambitious and ambition is the root of politics. If you are ambitious you are political. Your ambition may take the form of religion, but the politics is there. Then you are competing with other saints.

The night Jesus departed from his disciples, the so-called apostles were not much worried about what was going to happen to Jesus. Their worry was: after Jesus, when the Day of Judgment will come and they all will go to paradise, who will stand next to Jesus? Of course, Jesus will be at the right hand of God; that much they can concede. But who will be next to Jesus? They were quarreling and arguing about this. The last night of the master, tomorrow he may be crucified... but that is not their concern. Those apostles are political, and those apostles have created Christianity, and Christianity is politics and nothing else. So is Hinduism and so is Mohammedanism - all political desires hidden behind religious words.

Man cannot live without politics, because of the mind. You are brought up, you are trained to be political. Every child is poisoned from the very beginning, poisoned by ambition. We teach children to be ambitious: be somebody in the world, be somebody special, somebody superior, defeat others! We give the idea to every child that life is a struggle and only the fittest survive. Whether you survive by right or wrong means, that is not important.

Twenty-five years of education - almost one third of your life you are being trained to be ambitious. How can you avoid politics? The only way to avoid politics is to get out of your mind; that means that unless mind is dropped totally, politics will go on clinging to you. You can even be antipolitical but then that will become politics.

You ask me, Mukesh, "Why do people think that to live without politics is impossible?"

- because they cannot conceive how to live without the mind and desire, or how to live without ambition. They know only one way to live: compete, fight! If you are not going to dominate the other, the other is going to dominate you; so before the other dominates you, dominate the other. It is certainly better to dominate than to be dominated; it is better to be the master than to be the slave; it is better to be rich than to be poor. And there is great struggle, and millions of people are fighting for the same thing - and things are not so many.

How many people can be presidents, and how many people can be prime ministers, and how many people can be Fords, Rockefellers and Morgans and Birlas and Tatas?

How many people? Very few people. And life is short, and these are the goals to be fulfilled. If you cannot be a Rockefeller, if you cannot be the president of a country, your life is a sheer wastage, you are a failure. Unless you understand that even by becoming a Rockefeller, a Morgan, you are not going to achieve anything... you will be farther away from yourself. You will be deeper in the dreams.

By becoming a president or a prime minister you are not going to achieve any peace or bliss. No music is going to explode in your innermost being. In fact, you will become more and more ugly. By the time a person becomes a prime minister he becomes the ugliest possible, because the whole struggle makes him ugly. He has to be cunning, more cunning than others, otherwise he will not succeed. He has to be cruel, he has to be violent, he has to be very diplomatic. He has to say one thing, think another, do still another. By the time he reaches to the highest post of his desire, he is completely destroyed. He is no more a human being. He is hollow inside; he has no substance, no soul.

But these people are thought to be successful people, these people are thought to be the makers of history. These people are thought to leave their mark on human evolution.

These are the most mischievous people in the world, these are the greatest criminals:

Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, these are the real criminals in the world. Small criminals suffer in the prisons, big criminals become presidents and prime ministers.

But the people who have not been able to achieve these foolish desires also suffer very much. They suffer from an inferiority complex, from failure. Your education creates only two kinds of people. First, those who succeed, and by succeeding they come to know that they have wasted their lives. But it is pointless to tell it to others, because then others will laugh and will think you ridiculous. It is better to go on smiling although you know deep down that you have failed, your life has not been of any significance, you have not enjoyed being here. You have not danced, no song has been sung by your heart. Your whole life has been an experiment in futility. You know it but it is too late. You cannot go back, and you cannot say the truth - that will simply reveal your stupidity. It is better to go on playing the role of being successful.

And then the other kind is those who see these successful people and suffer with great jealousy, envy, are greatly wounded that "We could not make it in this life." This is politics.

My effort here is to teach you a different way of life which is not political at all. Let the mind be dropped. Don't be a slave of your mind. Become more conscious, more alert of all the nuisance that your mind is doing to you, the mess the mind is creating in you, the chaos the mind has reduced you to. Just watch, be alert. And slowly slowly, as your watchfulness grows - Buddha calls it "right mindfulness" - you will be able to slip out of the mind. Out of the mind and you are out of politics; otherwise, whatsoever you do is politics. If you don't do anything, that too is politics. You participate, either positively or negatively. If you vote you participate, if you don't vote still you participate, in a negative way. There seems to be no choice. In every way you will be part of it.

During the days of Hitler's dominance, five Germans sat at a table in a coffee shop, each thinking his own thoughts. One of them sighed, another groaned aloud. The third shook his head desperately, and the fourth man choked down the tears.

The fifth man, in a frightened voice, whispered, "My friends, be careful! You know it is not safe to talk politics in public."

Whatsoever you do is going to be politics, except one thing: if you really become a dropout from the world of the mind.

People hate this situation, but they don't know what to do about it. They are caught in such a complex situation, they don't know how to get out of it. And the whole crowd is going in a certain direction. If you move in some other direction the crowd becomes angry at you. The crowd does not allow nonconformists. It wants total submission, it wants slaves, it respects slaves. It gives all kinds of honors - from the lowest honor to the Nobel Prize - to the slaves, to the conformists, to those who are somehow supporting the status quo.

You can see it happening everywhere. Just look at the so-called respectable people, they are the greatest slaves. That's why they get respect. It is a mutual understanding. You follow the crowd, the crowd respects you, calls you a saint, a mahatma.

Adolf Hitler did not trust the reports he had been getting that the people were still loyal to him. One evening he disguised himself and went to a movie house. Soon the newsreel went on. The announcer said, "And now the latest picture of our great, our benevolent dictator." The commentary went on. The picture flashed on the screen. With one motion, the audience rose in salute, shouting "Heil, Hitler!"

Hitler was so pleased with the response that he forgot to get up. The man behind him tapped him on the shoulder and whispered, "I know how you feel about that bastard, but you had better stand up or the police will arrest you."

That's how everybody feels, but who wants to get into unnecessary trouble?

To be a nonconformist is to ask for trouble, because the mob feels offended. Why does the mob feel offended by a nonconformist? - because the nonconformist shows signs of intelligence, he shows signs of individuality, authenticity, responsibility, and then people feel stupid compared to him. They can't forgive him - and the politicians cannot allow such people to exist at all.

The sultan decided to have the Sufi matched against some wild lions in an arena, to entertain and warn the multitude. Many thousands turned up. The Sufi went into the arena, caught the lions by the ears and threw them out of the ring. The crowd went wild. Then the sultan ordered him to be bound hand and foot and elephants to be stampeded over him. By split-second timing he managed to roll away from the elephants' feet. The crowd roared.

Now the sultan had a pit dug, the Sufi buried in it up to the neck, and ordered three powerful and skilled swordsmen to cut off his head. As they struck, he moved his head this way and that to avoid the swipes, so that they started to tire. But by that time the crowd was on its feet, yelling, "Stand still and fight like a man, you tricky mystic!"

Now the poor man is buried, just the head is out of the earth! But intelligence can manage. Down the ages the real Sufis, the real Zen people, the real Buddhas, the real Hassids, the real mystics of all the countries, of all the races, have been utterly disgusted with this whole nonsense that goes on in the name of politics. They have been teaching their disciples, "Get out of it, it is futile," and they have suffered much because of it.

Mukesh Bharti, if you feel that politics is a dirty game, don't be worried: "Why do people think that to live without politics is impossible?"

Don't waste your time in that. The crowd is going to remain like that forever, but you can come out of it. Even if you can manage that, that's enough. And maybe if you can manage, then a few others will see the light too, because they will see a new joy arising in your being, a new aroma surrounding you, a new aura, a new atmosphere, a new milieu will start touching other people's hearts.

I am not saying, "Become a missionary." That is a dirty word. But if you are out of these ugly games, your life becomes such a beautiful phenomenon that those who have eyes will see and those who have ears will be able to hear and those who have hearts will be able to feel it. And that's all that you can do. That is real service.

The third question:

Question 3:



Gangadhar, because thinking is nothing but dreaming in words. Dreams are nothing but thinking in pictures.

What can you think? You can't think the unknown; you can only go on repeating the known. Thinking is repetitive, it is mechanical. Thinking never brings you to a new insight, neither in religion nor in science. Nowhere does thinking bring you to new windows to existence. Even in scientific work, real insights have happened not through thinking; they have been all intuitive, they have not been of the intellect. All the great scientists are convinced of the fact that it was not their effort that made them discover new ways of life, new secrets of nature, something of the beyond, something very mysterious. It was not their work, at the most they were only vehicles. Hence I am not in favor of making you great thinkers. In fact, you are already great thinkers.

Everybody is a great thinker. So much traffic goes on in the mind; you are continuously thinking, day in, day out, your whole life you are thinking - to what purpose, to what conclusion?

And I am more against theology than any other kind of thinking because that is the ultimate in stupidity. THEO means god, LOGY means logic: logic about God. That is a contradiction in terms. There is no logic about God. Love yes, logic no, a thousand times no. Yes, there can be love for God, but not logic. And if you come through logic to love, your love is also false, pseudo, plastic, synthetic.

Love happens, it is not an argument; then how does it happen? It does not happen through thinking. It happens by glimpses into no-thought, by entering into the intervals between two thoughts. Those are the windows, windows of the divine. I am against theology.

And philosophy has wasted so many beautiful minds that it is a crime now to go on teaching philosophy to people. At least for five thousand years people have been philosophizing. And what has been their conclusion? Philosophy has not come to any conclusion at all. It confuses people. Bertrand Russell has written in his memoirs that when he was young and went to the university, he had the thought that by studying philosophy at least he would be able to solve a few problems. By the end of his life - and he lived a long, very long life, and a very philosophical life of constant thinking - by the end of his life he said, "All that philosophy has done is to create more problems.

It has not solved a single one. My old problems are exactly where they were. New problems have certainly arisen out of my philosophical thinking."

And that is the experience of all thinkers, all philosophers. Philosophy is thinking about the unknown, about God, about life after death. You don't know what life is before death, and you think about the life after death.

My emphasis is, please know what life is before death, because if you can have an experience of life before death, death will disappear in that very experience. Death evaporates. Then there is no death; life is eternal.

But rather than experiencing, the philosopher goes on thinking, and you have to make the clear-cut distinction between thinking and experiencing. One can think about food, but that is not going to nourish one. Eating is totally a different matter. And you may think about very delicious food with all the vitamins thrown in. Still it is not going to help. And just bread and butter, if really eaten, will do the trick; they will nourish you.

The philosopher thinks about love. He does not love, he does not know anything about love. He has not experienced it, but he thinks about it. What can you think about something you have not experienced? And what is the need to think if you have experienced? Hence I am against philosophy. In both ways it is futile. If you have not experienced it, it is futile; if you have experienced it, it is more futile than ever.

Just recently an ape escaped from the local zoo. Must have been a philosopher! Several hours later the beast was finally found in the reading room of the library. He was poring over the first chapters of Genesis and he also had a copy of Darwin's THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.

When a policeman asked the ape what he was doing, the ape replied, "I am trying to figure out once and for all if I am my brother's keeper or if I am my keeper's brother."

That's how philosophy goes on - words and words. And words can be placed in such a systematic way that they can deceive you, just like playing cards can be put in such a way that they can give you the illusion of a palace. Paper boats can be made to look exactly like boats; you can paint them, but they are of no use.You can't go to the other shore by paper boats.

Philosophy is a palace made of playing cards, a boat made of paper. Painted beautifully, it looks exactly like a boat but is not a boat.

Except existential experience nothing is going to save you.

Two men were sent to define the border between Poland and Russia.

One day, in the middle of a big wood, they came to a very old house set right on the borderline. Unable to decide to which country it should belong, they approached the inhabitants. After they rang the bell for a long time a very old but well-known philosopher opened the door. They explained their difficulties and asked him what country he would prefer to belong to.

"Oh," he said, "I have been living here for so long now, I don't care at all," and he started to shut the door.

Suddenly he opened it again and said quickly, "No, wait, put me in Poland."

The rather hurt Russian went back after an hour to ask the old philosopher what the reason for his sudden decision was.

"Oh, no special reason," he replied. "I just read in the newspapers twenty years ago that the winters in Russia are very cold."

Philosophy is bookish, verbal, has no relationship with existence. My effort here is to help you enter into existence, and philosophy is a sheer wastage of life and energy - a life which is so invaluable, an energy which can lead you to God, an energy which is divine. Avoid philosophy, avoid philosophers.

Sit with the wise ones, and they are totally different people. In the ancient days the philosopher was a wise man. Socrates was a totally different kind of philosopher from Bertrand Russell, Immanuel Kant, Hegel, Heidegger. Socrates was a wise man, as wise as Buddha. Pythagoras was also called a philosopher, but in those days the word philosophy had its original meaning: love of wisdom. SOPHY means wisdom, PHILO means love. But slowly slowly, that meaning has changed. Now what is being taught in the universities has nothing to do with wisdom. It is all rubbish knowledge.

Analysis of language is now called philosophy. G.E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein are now thought to be great philosophers. They are linguists, analysts - great linguists and great analysts, but not philosophers at all, not in the sense of Socrates, Buddha, Lao Tzu.

George Bernard Shaw had been wearied by the tedious conversation of a philosopher who was trying to impress him with his knowledge.

Finally Shaw cut in, "You know, between the two of us, we know all there is to be known."

"How is that?" the philosopher asked delightedly.

"You seem to know everything," Shaw said, "except that you are a bore, and I know that!"

The fourth question:

Question 4:



Vachana, Christ's message IS rejoice and be merry. But that is not the message of Christianity. Christianity's message is: be sad, long faces, look miserable; the more miserable you look, the more saintly you are. Sometimes I really feel for poor Jesus. He has fallen in such wrong company, and I wonder how he is managing in paradise with all these Christian saints, so sad, so dull.

He was not a dull man, he was not a sad man - he could not be. The word 'christ' is exactly synonymous with buddha. He was an enlightened person. He rejoiced in life, in the small things of life. He rejoiced in eating, drinking, friendship. He loved companionship, he loved the whole life.

But Christians down the ages have painted him as very sad. They have painted him always on the cross, as if for thirty-three years he was always on the cross. And my own understanding is that a man like Jesus will not die sad, even on the cross. He must have laughed before he died. That's what al-Hillaj Mansoor did before he was killed by the fanatic Mohammedans, because he had declared: ANA'L HAQ - I am God.

Mohammedans could not tolerate it, just as Jews could not tolerate Jesus. They killed him - but before they killed him, he looked at the sky and laughed loudly.

One hundred thousand people had gathered to see this ugly phenomenon, the murder of one of the greatest human beings who has ever walked on the earth. Somebody asked from the crowd, "al-Hillaj, why are you laughing? You are being killed!" And he was killed in the most cruel way, piece by piece. Jesus' crucifixion is nothing compared to Mansoor's: first his legs were cu off, then his hands were cut off, then his eyes were taken out, then his nose was cut off, then his tongue was cut off, then his head was cut off. They tortured him as much as was possible, but he laughed. Somebody asked, "Why are you laughing?"

Mansoor said, "I am laughing because the man you are killing is somebody else, I am not he. I am laughing at God too. What is happening? - have these people gone mad?

They are killing somebody else! Me you cannot kill; it is ridiculous, your whole effort is ridiculous. So let it be remembered, let it be on record that I laughed at your foolishness!"

And that's exactly what Jesus must have done, laughed. But Christians have tried their best to depict Jesus as sad. They have made a saint out of a real authentic human being; they have cut everything. The gospels are not true stories; much has been changed, much has been reduced, much has been added. They have become mere fictions.

Down the ages, Christians have been trying to paint Christ as more and more sad.

Why? - because all over the world religion has been dominated by a neurotic kind of people. It has been dominated by the people who are masochists, sadists. In the East too, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism - they have all been dominated by the masochistic people, the people who enjoy torturing themselves, the people who are incapable of living life in its totality. The people who are too cowardly to live, escapists, have dominated religion up to now. These escapists have depicted Buddha as not laughing, Mahavira as not laughing.

And Christians actually say that Jesus never laughed in his life. Can you believe that?

Jesus never laughed in life? - and he enjoyed drinking and eating, he enjoyed gamblers and prostitutes, and he enjoyed all kinds of people, and he never laughed? Can you imagine that a man like Jesus, who was always feasting for hours with his friends, never laughed? It is inconceivable! How can you go on wining and dining without laughing?

He must have joked, he must have told funny stories. They have been edited out. He was a very true man, and very courageous. He accepted Mary Magdalene, the famous prostitute of those days as his disciple. It needs courage, it needs guts. I cannot believe that he never laughed.

I can rather believe a very fictitious story about Zarathustra - that the first thing he did when he was born was to laugh loudly. That I can believe, but I can't believe this story about Jesus, that he never laughed. It looks impossible. A child... just the first thing he did was a belly laughter. But I can believe it. It has a certain beauty about it, a certain significance. It simply says that Zarathustra was born wise, he was born enlightened, that's all. Whether he laughed or not, that is not the question.

And it doesn't seem too difficult: if children can cry, why can't they laugh? Doctors say that children cry just to clear their throat, so that they can breathe easily. But that can be done in a far better way by a belly laughter. And now there are doctors who say that if we take enough care children don't cry; on the contrary, they smile. That's a good beginning. Soon Zarathustras will be coming.

But up to now doctors have been very Christian. The first thing they do is they hang the child upside down and hit him on the buttocks. Do you expect a child to laugh? This is a great welcome to the world, putting the child upside down, giving him a hit - a good beginning, because his whole life he is going to get hit in the pants, again and again.

And hanging upside down, how can he laugh? No wonder he cries!

Now there are a few doctors working in a different direction. They bring the child in a more natural way out of the mother's womb; they don't cut the umbilical cord immediately because that creates crying, that is violence. They leave the child on the mother's belly with the umbilical cord intact. They give a good bath to the child, a hot bath, they put the child into a hot tub of exactly the same temperature as it was in the mother's womb.

In the mother's womb the child is floating in water. The water has the same contents as sea water, salty. In the same salty chemical solution, of the same temperature, the child is put in the tub. He starts smiling. It is a real beautiful reception. And not with glaring tube lights... that hurts the eyes of the child. In fact, so many people are wearing glasses only because of the foolishness of the doctors. The child has lived for nine months in the mother's womb in darkness, utter darkness. Then suddenly so much light... it hurts his delicate eyes. You have destroyed something delicate in his eyes. The child should be received in a very dim light, and the light should be increased slowly slowly, so his eyes become accustomed to the light. Naturally the child smiles at the beautiful welcome.

I can believe Zarathustra loudly laughing, but I can't believe Jesus not laughing at all.

He lived thirty-three years and did not laugh? - that can only be possible if he was absolutely perverted, absolutely pathological, ill. Something must have been wrong if he didn't laugh. But nothing is wrong with him; something is wrong with the followers.

They depict their saints, their messiahs, their prophets, as very serious, somber, sad, just to show that they are above the world, that they are beyond, that they are not worldly people. Laughter seems shallow, seems unspiritual.

That's why, Vachana - because you have been brought up as a Christian. Although the message of Christmas is rejoice and be merry, still there is a sadness, because the whole of Christianity teaches you to be sad. It is not a life-affirming religion, it is life-negative.

It is much more life-negative than Hinduism, much more life-negative than Judaism. It has no sense of humor at all. And a religion without a sense of humor is ill, pathological. It needs psychological treatment.

Peter, standing in the crowd, looked up at Jesus on the cross. As he watched, he distinctly saw Jesus motioning him forward.

"Pssst, hey Peter, come here," said the Lord.

As Peter moved forward, two Roman guards blocked his way and beat him till he fell to the ground.

A few moments later, Peter, bruised and bleeding, looked up and saw Jesus again motioning him forward.

"Pssst, hey Peter, come here!"

Looking around, Peter noticed that the crowd was gone and so were the Roman soldiers. He moved closer to Jesus, "Yes, Lord, what is it? What is it you want?"

"Hey Peter," said Jesus. "Guess what? I can see your house from here!"

The fifth question:

Question 5:



Vijayanand, any government will be, because I call a spade a spade, and that hurts. It has nothing to do particularly with the Indian government; any government will do. In fact, I have chosen to remain in India because the Indian government is the most lousy in the world. In Germany they will not tolerate me even for a single day. The Indian government seems to be such a chaos that even when they want to do something against me it takes months. By that time I will escape. The Indian government is a phenomenon....

There are at least thirty cases against me in the courts. In one court we lose the case, and the government officer doesn't come to know for months that we have lost it. They think the case is going on. By that time we move to another court. It is really a beautiful government, but they are bound once in a while to get angry with me.

The occasion was the visit of the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, to India. Prime Minister Nehru was anxious to impress his guest with the great strides India had made under his leadership following the principles of socialism and democracy.

They drove through the great park that surrounds the Indian parliament in Delhi, and Khrushchev caught sight of a figure squatting under a tree having a shit.

"Look over there!" said Khrushchev pointing to the figure. "You talk about the great strides your country has made, but I see your government has not even provided proper toilet facilities for the masses! What kind of socialist progress do you call this?"

It is said that Nehru was deeply embarrassed by this remark.

The following year it was his turn to be the guest of Mr. Khrushchev in Moscow. He longed to even the score and find some criticism with which to taunt his host.

As the two leaders walked through the park close by the Kremlin, Mr. Nehru caught sight of a man.

"Look over there!" Nehru shouted. Khrushchev looked... and when he saw the man his face turned crimson with rage.

"Arrest that man!" he yelled to his secret service men.

A dozen cops rushed to the tree and seized the man. They dragged him to the nearest police center for questioning.

The man - it turned out - was the Indian Ambassador!

The last question:

Question 6:



Narayandas, you should not do anything. Enough is enough. Just the other day I have received from the great Madhuri a beautiful Christmas card. I must have received thousands of Christmas cards, but this is the most beautiful. And particularly for you, Narayandas, it will be helpful. So I will read this card from Madhuri.

From twenty to thirty, if you are feeling right It is once in the morning and once at night.

From thirty to forty, if you are still living right, You skip the morning but continue at night!

From forty to fifty, it is now and then....

And from fifty to sixty, it is God knows when!

From sixty on, if you are still inclined, Believe me, fella - It is all in your mind!

Happy Christmas!

Enough for today.

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