A single humanity rejoicing
THE EUROPEAN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT EASTERN RELIGIONS, WORRIED THAT THEIR VITALITY CAN DESTROY THE NATIONS. IS THERE THIS DANGER/BLESSING WITH YOUR RELIGION TOO?
Religion is not geography. It is neither Eastern nor Western. It cannot be divided in such a stupid manner; otherwise there will be a Southern religion, a Northern religion, and there will be no end to these divisions. The Middle East is not the East, and the Far East is also not the East.
Just a few days ago one South African politician said, "Now the conflict between East and West is over; now the real fight is going to be between South and North." Up to now nobody has been thinking in terms of a conflict between South and North, but basically, there is. Southern countries are all poor; northern countries are all rich. Southern countries are mostly black; northern countries are mostly white.
This seems to be a far wider gap than that between East and West. In fact to divide East and West is very difficult. In Europe, Russia is thought to be an eastern country, although half of Europe, the upper half, is Russian. Russia is spread from one end of Europe to the other end of Asia. In fact, Asia and Europe are nowhere divided; it is one continent, one continuity.
Politicians need division - without divisions politicians have no function. Priests also need divisions, because they are a spiritual kind of politician. Without divisions the priest also disappears.
So there are people who are tremendously interested in keeping divisions, and they go on dividing everything - even to the extent of stupidity. Now, dividing religion into Eastern and Western is just inconceivable. A little intelligence is enough to understand that love cannot be Eastern or Western - or do you think it can be? Can silence be Eastern and Western? Can meditativeness be divided according to geographical divisions?
A man meditating in Tibet or a man meditating in Europe or America will have the same quality of consciousness; there will be no difference at all, because the man in Tibet, when in meditation, disappears. He is no longer Tibetan, he is no longer even man; he is just pure silence, awareness.
The same is true for anybody meditating anywhere.
Meditation is universal, just as love is, compassion is, intelligence is.
These are qualities - and religion is the ultimate quality of consciousness. At least don't be so idiotic as to divide it.
I am reminded, when I was graduating from the university .... In India - I don't know how it is in other countries - to pass the post-graduation class you have to pass two kinds of examinations. One is written and the other is oral. In the oral examination one professor from some other university is invited. The vice-chancellor is present, the head of the department is present, and each individual student is called in for an interview.
The vice-chancellor just jokingly had mentioned to me .... We used to meet almost every morning because we were the only two persons going for a morning walk. Slowly slowly I was no longer a student, he was no longer a vice-chancellor; we were simply two persons going for a morning walk.
And just as it happens to all morning walkers - they become friendly, they start gossiping .... And two years is a long time - slowly slowly the partitions, divisions, dropped, and as the examination was coming closer, my vice-chancellor asked me, "I will be present in your viva, in your oral examination; whom would you prefer to be called from another university?"
I said, "Find the toughest guy!" He said,"I knew you would say that, and I have also been thinking about finding the toughest guy, because I would love to see how you manage it."
And they found him. In Aligarh University there was a Mohammedan professor who was known all over India as the toughest professor of philosophy. For years he had not passed anybody, and in his whole life he had never given the first class to anybody. Third class was the highest that he had given to anybody.
One of my professors had been his student and he used to say, "I am one of the persons who passed from Aligarh University. I am only a third class, but a third class from Aligarh University is far better than a first class from Oxford, because that man in his whole life has been continuously failing people. Nobody comes up to his standard."
So the vice-chancellor said, "I am thinking of calling this professor from Aligarh."
I said, "That's the right thing!"
That professor was invited. He was rarely invited; he was very happy! The head of my department, S.K. Saxena, told me, "Be cautious, because that man is absolutely destructive."
I said, "You don't be worried; he cannot be more destructive than me."
But he said, "You cannot do any harm to him, you are not the examiner; he can do harm to you, he can fail you. And he is well-known for failing; he simply puts zero."
I said, "You don't be worried. If he gives me zero then I have achieved my goal, because that's what I have been working for - to attain to the state of zero-ness."
He said, "You are incurable! I am not talking about that zero."
I said, "You just wait." He said, "Remember, I will be sitting by your side, and if you go off the track I will nudge you with my feet, or I will pull your kurtha. That is an indication - 'Come back, come right to the point.' And that means just be within the limits of the textbook."
I said, "You need not be worried."
But they were afraid. Even the vice-chancellor that morning said to me, "Although I have invited him, now I feel concerned. That man is really hard, he has no compassion."
But I said, "I don't need anybody's compassion; he will need my compassion."
He said, "We will have to see what happens. Of course it is my fault, I should not have invited him. I carried the joke too far and risked your career. You may pass in all your written papers but if he fails you, your two years are wasted, and I will never be able to forgive myself."
I said, "Don't be worried at all. This is the first time he is encountering a real philosophy student. He will remember it his whole life."
The examination began; I was called in. I came in .... Of course it is not expected that the professor, the vice-chancellor and the invited guest will stand up, but I came in and I remained standing.
My vice-chancellor asked, "You may sit down. Why are you standing?"
I said, "I am just looking at three gentlemen who don't know any courtesy. If you cannot pay respect to a human being, you should not expect any respect in return."
That visiting professor was shocked - hearing this from me, and hearing me talk this way to the vice- chancellor of the university. But the vice-chancellor knew me: he stood up; he said, "I am sorry."
My professor stood up; he said, "I am sorry." When those two stood up, the invited guest thought, "It looks odd if I don't stand up," so he stood up and he said, "I am sorry."
I said, "You are all forgiven. Now the real business can be started. But you must have understood what kind of man I am. I have heard much about you - that you are a hard guy - so please prove it, because I don't see that you are a hard guy. You stood up for a student and apologized! You are almost feminine, you are not a man."
My Professor Saxena started kicking me, saying, "From the very beginning you are going off."
I said, "Professor Saxena, this is not good, that underneath the table you are kicking my leg. This is an examination - you are not supposed to support me, help me, or in any way give me indications.
You keep yourself in control."
And I said to the vice-chancellor, "It is up to you to watch, because he loves me too much and he is kicking me so that I don't go off the path. You keep an eye on him so that he does not disturb me, because I am determined to get the zero. This is my life's goal."
Before the examination began I told them everything: "This is my life's goal - to attain to the state of zero. And Professor Saxena is trying hard that I should not get zero today, but I trust in the invited guest, that he will remain hard and he will do his best - that means he should do his worst."
So I told my vice-chancellor, "You look at my professor and watch that he does not disturb me, and I will take care of the invited guest." And I asked him, "Now you start. Why are you sitting silent? I am not here to examine you; only I am speaking - you start!"
He was almost having a nervous breakdown. He must have come prepared - what to ask, what not to ask - but he completely forgot. He simply asked me, "How can you explain the distinction between Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy?"
I said, "I do not need to explain it - because there is no distinction. Who has told you that there is any distinction between Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy? Have you lost your nerve?
You cool down, collect yourself; remember what you wanted to ask me.
"Is this a question? Can philosophy be divided into Eastern and Western? Philosophy is literally ...
the word means love of wisdom. Now, love of wisdom can exist anywhere; it will be the same love of wisdom. It is an inquiry into truth. Do you think truth is different in the West? Do you think truth changes itself according to the climate, nation, geography?
"I am not here to explain the distinction; first you have to explain to me on what grounds you have asked the question. You tell me how philosophy can be Eastern or Western. It is such a simple thing."
There was silence for a moment, and I said, "Do you have another question or are you finished?
Then give me zero, but remember, that zero is given to you by yourself. You have utterly failed as an examiner, and these two gentlemen are witnesses of it."
That man somehow managed to come out of the shock and he said, "You are right. I had never thought that philosophy cannot be divided, because traditionally it has been divided.
"Bertrand Russell has written the history of Western philosophy; Radhakrishnan has written the history of Indian philosophy; Suzuki has written the history of Eastern - so I simply believed these fellows."
I said, "But a philosopher is not supposed to believe. This is so obvious, such apparent nonsense.
Bertrand Russell, Radhakrishnan, Suzuki, all are committing the same mistake: they are dividing something which is indivisible. And everybody goes on accepting it, just because great authorities have written .... Bertrand Russell got his Nobel prize for this book, THE HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, which is a third-rate book, for the simple reason that from the very title it goes wrong.
"And then to write the history of philosophy is a tremendous job, it cannot be completed in one volume. It will need all the volumes of THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA; then too it will be only a very very abridged history of philosophy.
"To write one book and to give two pages to Socrates - what can you write about a man like Socrates in two pages? Two pages to Heraclitus, two pages to Pythagoras? - this is simply unforgivable, this is insulting. The whole book will not suffice even for a single philosopher: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plotinus - just a single philosopher will be enough. This is very idiotic, daring. And I have looked into the book - it is Russell's poorest book, for the simple reason that you cannot put Socrates in two pages."
I am not Socrates, but can you put me in two pages? I will be almost out of it. Yes, you can write the name of my father and the birthplace and the birth date and how many books I have written and a little bit of my life and how the life ends - but this is not philosophy.
This has nothing to do with Socrates - where he was born, when he was born. What about his vision, which provoked the whole of Greek orthodox, traditional, conventional people to such a point ... and they were the most cultured in the world.
Jesus' crucifixion can be forgiven because they were not the most cultured people of the world.
Judea was an almost non-existential part of the world. Who cared about Judea? Who knew about Judea? And it was a slave country. But Athens was at the peak of its culture, sophistication, intelligence; perhaps nowhere else, in no other time, has any city reached to such a peak of wisdom as Athens reached in the time of Socrates. And I don't think it will be possible again; Athens will remain unique.
Still that sophisticated, cultured, intelligent city decided to poison Socrates. His philosophy must have been a tremendously rebellious vision of life. In those two pages you won't find that rebel anywhere, nor that rebelliousness anywhere.
Bertrand Russell got the Nobel prize for this book, for the simple reason that all the books written by him - all the other books - are in some way or other controversial. He himself was a man of great insight, and he was unorthodox, untraditional, unconventional.
He could write a book like WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN. He could write a book, UNPOPULAR ESSAYS, because every topic was against the mind of the society; it was unpopular. He could write SKEPTICAL ESSAYS which show his logical sharpness.
The Nobel prize awarding committee was in a difficulty. Russell was at the peak of his popularity. Not to give him the Nobel prize would be too apparently prejudiced. Fortunately he wrote this HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY which, just being a history, has nothing controversial about it. What controversy could there be?
He is simply writing the history, and that too so condensed - and it has to be condensed. It is a one-thousand-page book, but two thousand years of philosophy, thousands of philosophers, many of whom are not even mentioned .... This was the most uncontroversial thing, and the Nobel prize- awarding committee thought it was a good chance to get rid of Bertrand Russell; give him the Nobel prize for this book - because he himself was a trouble-creating man.
He belonged to a very noble family. He was a lord, but he dropped using the word "lord" before his name "because," he said, "this looks ugly." He was participating in a protest against the government just in front of the House of Lords, where they meet. The police were beating the protesters, and they started beating Bertrand Russell. He fell on the ground - and at that time somebody said, "What are you doing! He is a lord!"
The policeman simply started trembling and said, "Please forgive me - I had no idea that you were a lord."
He said, "No, you have done perfectly well - I am not a lord. I am protesting against these lords."
Now, this man could get the Nobel prize for a third-class, third-rate book .... Because of the Nobel prize that book became the most prominent of all his books, which are really valuable.
I told that professor, "You also got deceived by the Nobel prize? And you talk to me about Radhakrishnan? Radhakrishnan later on became president of India and his whole fame depended on a book - two volumes of Indian philosophy. And you will be surprised to know that these two volumes were stolen; they were not written by Radhakrishnan.
It was a thesis of a student. Radhakrishnan was a professor in Calcutta University and the thesis came to him to be examined. He went on prolonging the period for two years. But he was a very prominent figure; nobody could think what was going on underneath.
Within these two years he published his book, INDIAN PHILOSOPHY, in England - it is nothing but the thesis of that poor boy. You can go on reading pages and pages exactly the same; not even a comma is different. And when his book was published, then the boy was given his doctorate - just to make it appear Radhakrishnan's book was published first, so nobody could say that he had stolen it; if anyone had stolen anything then that student had.
But that student went to the court, the High Court; the case was in the High Court. " ... Because,"
the student said, "I produced my book two years earlier in the university. The university is a witness.
Other professors - because three examiners are needed for the thesis - two other examiners are witnesses. This is my thesis and this is his book. There is no need to judge - just read.
Pages upon pages, even chapters completely as they are in the student's thesis, are in Radhakrishnan's book; Radhakrishnan must have been in a hurry. It is a big, two-volume book - must be two thousand pages. He must have been in a hurry; he could not manage .... Otherwise he would have been able to manage to change a few words here and there.
The case was so clear - but the student withdrew the case from the court before the decision of the court, because he was bribed. Ten thousand rupees were given by Radhakrishnan to the student to withdraw the case. He was so poor that ten thousand rupees in those days was enough.
Everybody was puzzled why the case was withdrawn because the case was clear: the boy was going to win. But the boy must have thought, "Even if I win the case I am not going to get anything.
Perhaps Radhakrishnan may get punished by the court, but what am I going to get out of it?
"Right now I am getting ten thousand ...." And the boy who had written the book was so intelligent, he could not care: he could write ten other books like that.
I told the professor, "You trust Radhakrishnan? You must have known about the case." He said, "Yes, I know about the case. I know about the High Court, and I know that it is certain theft." "And," I said, "still you think of these people as authorities. You withdraw your question.
"There is no division of Indian philosophy, Eastern philosophy, Western philosophy: philosophy is simply philosophy. If you agree with me you can ask another question."
He said, "I agree with you completely. There is no need for another question."
My professor and vice-chancellor ... now it was their turn to be shocked. They could not believe it because this man gave me a first class, and he said, "This is the only first class I have given in my whole life, and I don't think I will give one again, because I don't think anybody is going to hit me so hard."
He hugged me. He invited me and my vice-chancellor and the professor to come to the cafeteria.
He said, "I enjoyed it because for the first time I felt I was really encountering someone; otherwise, students come so afraid, and they go on repeating only what is written in the books. That's why I have never given anybody more than third class. Most of them fail for the simple reason that they are only robot-like, repeating. And here is a student who knows perfectly well that I can fail him, I can harm him, but is not afraid of it at all. That should be the philosophical approach.
"A man of philosophy should be unafraid, and I am giving him first class because of his unafraidness, because I have not asked anything else. One question I have asked which he has dismantled. He has not answered, he has thrown it back on me: I have to answer it."
He was very happy, and later on whenever I used to go to Aligarh, he forced me to stay with him.
I said, "You don't understand: the trouble is I am being invited by the Jains, and if I stay in the Mohammedan's house that creates trouble."
He said, "You can face trouble perfectly well - that I know - but you have to be my guest." While he was alive, I was always his guest, and the people who were inviting me were very much concerned because they even started asking me, "Have you dropped vegetarianism too? - because staying with that Mohammedan, you must be eating with him."
I said, "Yes, I eat with him, but I eat my food. And you will not believe it - he calls in a brahmin cook to prepare food for me. And the food is far better than you will be able to manage because he takes every care that in a non-vegetarian house I should not feel in any way inconvenienced. He takes so much care that I start feeling a little uncomfortable - because of his care. I tell him, 'You need not worry about me, I can manage things myself,' but he won't listen."
You are saying that in Europe there is a fear that Eastern religions can be very destructive. It is strange to remind you that this idea was given currency by one of the best minds of Europe - Karl Gustav Jung. He was the first who started saying that Eastern religions are dangerous, particularly for the Western man.
His argument is worth understanding although it is absolutely wrong. His argument was that Western man has developed in a different way; his traditions, his past, his roots are different. And Eastern man has also developed in a different way.
They have grown in such divergent manners that it is just like bringing a mango tree from India and planting it in Europe. It will die, it cannot survive, for the simple reason that the mango tree has millions of years' tradition of a certain climate, a certain temperature, certain rains. It cannot simply change itself, it cannot adjust itself to a new environment.
Many animals in the past have died because climates changed and they could not adjust to the new climate. Many trees have disappeared from the world for the simple reason that the climate changed and those trees could not go anywhere else; they were rooted in the earth.
Only two beings are capable of adjusting to any climate: One is man, the other is the cockroach. And wherever you find man you will find cockroaches; wherever you find cockroaches you will find man - they are always together. If man goes to the moon, cockroaches will go. They are inseparable companions, and both are capable of adjusting to any situation. Perhaps cockroaches are more capable of adjusting, because man has many scientific, technical ways to adjust himself.
If it is is too cold he can have warmer clothes; if it is too hot he can have air conditioning. Poor cockroaches don't have any technical, any scientific methods with them, but they manage. Certainly they are more capable. Man without all these technical supports would not be able to adjust. If he goes to the Arctic naked, he will die, but the cockroach has to go naked.
Karl Gustav Jung said that religion is such a strong power that if it is not supported by your heritage, by your past, by your tradition, it will simply destroy you, it will uproot you.
It looks logical, and if you think of pseudo-religions, Jung is right. For example, compared with Eastern religions, Christianity, Judaism, or Mohammedanism cannot survive, for the simple reason that they are very immature, very primitive, while the religions coming from the East have reached to the highest possibility of sophistication.
Eastern religions' logic is not primitive, and they have lived longer - Jainism, for example, for at least ten thousand years. For ten thousand years they have been polishing, and the way they have been polishing ... Christianity has not been polished in two thousand years. Jainism has been continuously arguing against Buddhism, against Hinduism; Hinduism has been arguing against Jainism .... Thousands of treatises of tremendously beautiful argumentation are there.
Great minds like Nagarjuna, Shankara, Ramanuja, Vallabha, went around the country demolishing everything that was not according to their vision. Teachers were roaming all over the country with a challenge to anybody to argue, to discuss. The whole country was in a philosophical turmoil for ten thousand years.
Naturally, out of that turmoil and argumentation and continuous confrontation they sharpened their arguments, they became very subtle. Mohammedanism is only fourteen hundred years old, which is also nothing.
India reached its peak at the time of Buddha and Mahavira; that was five hundred years before Jesus Christ. If you compare Jesus Christ with Gautam Buddha you can see: Jesus looks simply like an illiterate villager who has heard a few things about philosophy and religion, but has no argument to prove them. He is simply repeating the conclusions, while Buddha will never repeat the conclusion.
Buddha will start from the argument, the very premise. Then he will go through the whole procedure, and in the procedure he will also talk about all other possibilities, and will go on demolishing them, proving that they are wrong. He will not leave chances for anybody. He will take account of all other viewpoints and will demolish them before he reaches his conclusion.
In Indian philosophy it is a basic tenet that when you say something, always say simultaneously, immediately, that which is its opposite. First destroy the opposite; then only declare your conclusion.
If you cannot destroy the opposite, then forget all about your conclusion, because anybody can raise the opposite and your conclusion will be lost. It is better that you do it yourself.
So to read a book of Indian philosophy is totally different than reading Kant, Hegel .... They are simply proposing their idea. Hegel is proposing his idea, not at all bothered that this is only one aspect and there are thousands of others. Hence Indian treatises are very complicated. Before you can get to the conclusion of the man you will be puzzled about what is happening, because if he believes in God's existence, he will first demolish all arguments against God; he will not leave a single loophole.
When he has demolished all the opposite viewpoints, all alternative possibilities, only then will he come to his conclusion. It has a solidity. It will be very difficult for you to find something which he has not already criticized. You need a very outlandish attitude like me; otherwise you cannot manage Indian traditions, their treatises, their philosophies.
What do I mean by outlandish? It happened that I was invited to one of the international Vedanta conferences in Amritsar. The name of Amritsar has just now become world famous because for Sikhs, that is their sacred city, and they have the beautiful golden temple there.
Just now, because they have been trying to become an independent nation, separate from India, thousands of Sikhs have been killed, thousands of Hindus have been killed, and Indira Gandhi has been assassinated. And it continues still: people are being killed. And it will continue, it is not going to stop easily. Amritsar is the stronghold of the Sikh religion, and Sikhs are very fanatic people, but very sincere, very honest.
In India if you need to trust anybody, find a Sikh; you can trust him. All others are cunning: they will promise you but the goods will never be delivered. But when a Sikh promises you, he means it. He will do it even at the cost of his life. They are sincere, they are honest, they are nice people - but they are very fanatic about their religion. That corner of their mind is completely blocked.
This Vedanta conference was being held in Amritsar. It was a Hindu conference; from all over the world Hindu representatives were there, shankaracharyas, all the great monks were there. In Punjab at that time there was one very famous Hindu saint, Harigiri Maharaj. He inaugurated the conference.
He told a beautiful story that I myself have told many times; it is so beautiful and so indicative.
Inaugurating the conference, he said that ten blind men were passing a stream in the rainy season - the stream was flooded. They held the hands of each other. It was not very deep, but the current was very strong; so holding each other's hands they reached the other side.
And then one of them said, "Let us count whether we all have come, because we are all blind, nobody can see; if somebody has been taken by the current we will never know."
So they started counting, and of course the number always came to nine because the person who was counting never counted himself. He started with the others and ended with the last man. A very simple fallacy - the scientists are doing it all over the world. All blind! The scientist counts the whole world; believes, trusts, accepts its existence, except the scientist's own self - that is left unaccounted for.
He is ready to accept anything believable, unbelievable. In physics, in chemistry, in other branches of science - even if it goes against logic he accepts it, because experimentally, objectively it is there, proved. But if you ask him, "What about your consciousness, your awareness?" he simply tries to explain it away.
He says, "It cannot be proved; hence, I cannot accept it. It cannot be made an object: I cannot put it in a test-tube, I cannot put it on the table, dissect it, figure out what it is, what it is made of, what its constituents are. Unless I can do that I cannot accept it."
Now this is what those ten blind people were doing. Condemning scientists, I had used that story many times, because it so clearly shows that the scientist is leaving himself out of the account: he counts everything but then he leaves out the most important and the most significant thing.
Harigiri Maharaj told the story, and he said when they counted and found there were nine, they started crying and weeping: "One of our friends is lost."
A man was watching, sitting by the side of the river, and he laughed at the whole thing: "These fools are all there and are crying for someone who is lost. Nobody is lost" - because he had been watching all these ten coming from the other side to this side. He came close to them and asked, "What is the matter? Why are you crying?"
They said, "We have lost one of our companions in the current."
He looked at them; he said, "How many were you?"
They said, "We were ten and now we are nine."
He said, "You all stand in a line and I will count and teach you how to count. I will slap the first person; he has to say, 'One,' then I will slap twice the second person; he has to say, 'Two,' then thrice, the third person; he has to say, 'Three.' This way I will go on hitting. And when I hit ten times you know you are ten; nobody is lost." And this way he counted. He enjoyed hitting them, and they were very happy being hit because the lost companion was found.
This is Vedanta's attitude, that in the world we go on collecting everything, possessing money, power, prestige, just forgetting ourselves - but that is the most precious thing.
I was the second person to speak. You know I am crazy, so I said, "This story is just absurd." The whole conference was shocked: This is an ancient Vedanta story and nobody had ever called it absurd, not even those who are against Vedanta, because they all use it. Jainas use the story, Buddhists use the story. The story is so beautiful, so indicative, that everybody has used it; nobody has condemned it.
And I said, "This is absolutely absurd, for the simple reason: how did these ten blind people come to know that they are ten? Before they entered the stream, did they count? Now I want Harigiri Maharaj to answer me. Did they count before they entered the stream?
"If they counted, then they know how to count. Just by passing the stream they forgot how to count?
First they counted themselves - and just by passing the stream they stopped, all the ten, counting themselves? This story is absolutely foolish; it makes no sense.
"All that I can understand is that somebody else must have told them, 'You are ten'; they never counted. Somebody must have told them, 'You are ten,' and they believed that somebody else.
This is where belief leads. They believed, but they knew not. So when there was nobody and they themselves tried to count, they were in great anguish: one companion was lost.
"This story only proves that beliefs should be completely dissolved from all religious climates.
Nobody should believe anybody because in a real situation you will be in trouble. Either know, or know that you don't know.
"If these ten people were not aware that they were ten, there would have been no trouble. If they had not believed somebody else they would have been perfectly happy being nine; there was no trouble. On both the sides they would have counted in the same way. The trouble arose because on one side was the belief, on the other side was knowledge. And belief falls flat when you encounter knowledge.
"So," I said, "once and for all, this story should be removed from all Vedanta literature."
Harigiri became so troubled, red with anger .... Of course there was no answer, and I said, "If you have any answer, come to the mike and give the answer" - and there were at least fifty-thousand people gathered for the conference. But what answer could he give? - he had never thought about it, nobody had ever thought about it. It was so outlandish, out of the way.
Instead of coming to the mike he left the stage, and I said, "This is cowardly, Harigiri - and you have been known as 'the lion of Punjab'! And the way you are escaping from here - your tail under your legs - you are proving to be a cowardly dog."
Of course he had thousands of followers there; I had none except myself. There was nobody, and I was for the first time speaking in Amritsar. Still, people were silent, shocked, because what I had said was absolutely logical. Only two persons who must have been very very close to Harigiri shouted, "Shame! Shame!"
They were shouting at me, but - you know, I said I am crazy - I said, "Stop! Even if he is a coward, don't do that." They were standing; I said, "Sit down! Although he is a coward, that does not mean that you should start calling, 'Shame! Shame!' This is not a moment to humiliate and insult him; he has insulted himself enough already." And those two cowards could not say that they were shouting "Shame!" at me.
I have been moving around India, and in many situations the same was the case. I had to find some very eccentric way to find a loophole. Of course there are always loopholes because whatever man makes - howsoever foolproof - you can always find a loophole. No man-made thing can be perfect; even the God-made universe is not perfect, what about man?
But if you compare .... And that's why Jung was afraid. Jung was studying Eastern religions his whole life, and as he became more and more acquainted with them, a great fear arose in him; and the fear was that one day, sooner or later, the East is going to take over the West completely:
"Religiously we cannot argue with such sharp, ten-thousand-year-old, very intricate, complicated systems. Our systems in the West are very poor."
There is not a single commentary on Jesus' gospels. In two thousand years Christians have not even written one commentary, for the simple reason that there is nothing to comment on. Jesus was saying things so simple that I became the first commentator on Jesus, because I can make simple statements into complex philosophies.
It is not difficult. It works both ways: you can make very complex philosophy into simple statements; you can do vice versa - simple statements you can make into a great philosophy.
When I spoke first on Jesus in THE MUSTARD SEED, it was accepted all over the Christian world as something unique, because in two thousand years nobody had bothered; nobody had even thought that there is any philosophy in it.
Philosophy is not something that is ready-made, present anywhere; you have to create it. It does not exist. It is not that you simply open the door and philosophy is sitting there. No need to open the door - you can simply create the hallucination of philosophy.
Philosophy is just a linguistic game. It is a gimmick. you have only to learn to play with words - and just being born in India is enough to know the game. It is in the very air. Everybody is talking great philosophy, it is not something rare. Even villagers are talking great philosophy, reading great philosophical treatises.
So when I spoke on Jesus it had nothing to do with Jesus, it had nothing to do with anybody else; I enjoyed playing with words. But it is a very dangerous game. I can play for, I can play against. So when I was playing for, even Christian publishers published my books.
Sheldon Press in London is a Christian publishing house. They published THE MUSTARD SEED and eight other books and, when in one of my talks I said that there are sources which say that Jesus was ugly, that he was four foot five inches high and that he was a hunchback, they freaked out! Their board of directors decided to withdraw all my books immediately.
They withdrew all the books. Our sannyasins told them, "We are ready to purchase all the books at cost price." No, they wouldn't sell them even at cost price, because they would again be back in the market. They sold the books to some shopkeeper who sells old newspapers, old magazines, old books, which are not used for reading, mostly for recycling.
But Poonam, our sannyasin, was behind them, following them; she found the place. She got all those books - even cheaper because that man was very happy, they were going to be recycled; so all the books are back in the market, and those Sheldon board people are at a loss - what happened?
How did these books, which were recycled ...? This is resurrection! At least Christians should not be worried about such things: things like this happen.
Jung was afraid, and his fear was right, that if Eastern religion comes as a strong wind it will demolish all Western religions and their systems. And it will demolish Western man because Western man is rooted in a different soil, in a different climate, in a different way of thinking. It was Jung who created the fear in the West, then others followed.
But to me, if Eastern religions and their winds can destroy Western religions then they are worth being destroyed, they deserve to be destroyed. No special protection should be given to them.
Either they should stand on their own - they should become more sophisticated ....
Not a single meditation method exists in Western religions - only prayer. And prayer is not meditation: prayer is a very primitive method. These religions, if they can be destroyed, that's perfectly good; let them be destroyed.
Jung says that Eastern religions will destroy Western religions but he never says Western science will destroy Eastern science. No, that is not his concern. I am happy in both ways: Western science should destroy Eastern science, because Eastern science is not scientific enough; that's why Western science can destroy it.
If you believe in stupid things ... for example in India you can see it often happening. On a hot summer day ... when it is too hot a poor man may have sunstroke, may fall on the ground, go unconscious; and a crowd will gather around. Indians are very efficient in gathering quickly. Where not a single soul was, within seconds you will find a crowd.
Nobody is bothered about their work, where they were going, what they were doing: everything stops. And do you know what they do when somebody falls with sunstroke? They put a shoe on his nose to bring him back to consciousness. Now, this is Eastern science!
Jung is a coward. If Western science comes and destroys Eastern science of this type, it should be welcomed. Western science has evolved, Eastern science has not evolved. And whosoever is on a higher pedestal should be victorious.
It is not a question of East and West.
Western science should take over the whole world as far as science is concerned.
Eastern religiousness should take over the whole world as far as religion is concerned.
And that's what I mean when I say science and religion are two aspects of one thing.
The West has worked on the objective truth.
The East has worked on the subjective truth.
The East has poured its whole energy into that dimension, just as the West has poured its energy into the objective direction. Now, both have found great treasures. It is good that they should share their treasures. In that sharing the world will become one; and of course in that sharing much will be destroyed - in the East and in the West. But it needs to be destroyed. It has no right to exist. If it cannot face the truth then why go on clinging to it because it is Eastern or because it is Western?
Yes, it is true that if religious consciousness spreads it is going to destroy pseudo-religions. It is going to destroy nations.
There is no need for nations.
The whole world can be governed by one single government - and that government will be only functional.
Let me make it clear to you what I mean by functional. Right now a president of a country is not only functional, he has a status, power. But the postmaster general - what power has he and what status? He is functional. Of course he is the head of all the post offices of the country. In one world he will be the head of all the post offices of the world - so what? It is just functional, he is the head clerk.
In the same way, all departments should be functional; and when the world is one, many departments will not be needed - for example, defense. This takes almost seventy-five percent of the countries' income. Seventy-five percent of the income of the whole world will be simply saved, because there is no need for a defense department. Who is going to attack? - unless some other planet starts a war against the earth. But I don't see any possibility of that.
We have not yet been found by anybody, nor have we been able to find anybody. Signals have been continuously sent for fifty years; from the earth, for fifty years continuously, a few scientific departments have been sending signals to the planets, to the stars, in different ways. But as yet there is no sign that any signal has been received or that anybody has answered. So there is no question of any other planet creating a war against us.
There will be no defense department - which is the most destructive department, killing millions of people unnecessarily, because all of the money goes on pouring into more and more death material.
Who is interested in life?
Perhaps, except this small commune, in this whole world nobody is interested in life.
Politicians are interested in the other world - which means after death. Nothing special is going to happen before death, don't waste your time unnecessarily. Simply die, because then the real show begins. What are you doing here? Simply wasting your time. It is not even a rehearsal. Everything begins after death - heaven, God, eternal life, bliss: everything after death.
Religions are interested in death.
Politicians are interested in death.
Perhaps this is the only commune which is interested in life. Perhaps I am the first religious man who is interested in life here and now.
All other religious leaders, founders, prophets, messiahs, were interested in the other world: "This world is just a punishment, this world is an imprisonment, this world is nothing but humiliation. You have been thrown out of the garden of Eden. To be alive is disgraceful. Pray to God, ask Him, 'Please let us be back in the Garden of Eden.' That means you will have to pass through death."
All these nations, religions - what is their need? If they are interested in death, let them die.
What happened in Jonestown was absolutely Christian, but not even a single person in the world has talked about the fact that it was a Christian phenomenon, that Christianity was its background, that Jim Jones was a reverend, that he was a Christian priest, and the people who followed him simply followed according to the Christian ideology.
Of course, they went to the very logical end. Jesus says to his people: "After death there will be judgment day, and I will be there to pick my people. And only those who are with me will be saved; all others will be thrown into the eternal darkness of hell."
Reverend Jim Jones was continually teaching the BIBLE, Christianity, and of course he was teaching that real life begins after death. And if he convinced those fools, one thousand fools, it is nothing to be surprised at: they were all Christians. The gospel was Christian, and if he convinced them to die with him ... why wait for the judgment day?
And on the judgment day there is going to be so much of a crowd - poor Jim Jones, how is he going to find his one thousand followers? It will be really difficult. The best way is: Jim Jones dies and with him his followers die. And they will reach the gates of heaven with God and Jesus Christ and all the apostles shouting, "Alleluia!" This is far better, quicker.
Other Christians have waited for two thousand years but the judgment day has not come yet. And if you read Jesus, his disciples asking again and again, "When will the judgment day come?" and he says, "Soon." The whole indication is that it is going to happen within your life. Now, twenty centuries have passed; it has not happened. Nobody asks the pope, "What about the judgment day? Jesus was saying, 'Soon.' What do you mean by 'soon'?" At least it should be explained how many centuries, how many generations .... "Soon" cannot be extended that much.
But Christian bishops and cardinals and priests are comparing me with Jim Jones. In churches, sermons are delivered and it is said that Rajneeshpuram is going to become a second Jonestown.
Now, who is going to say to these fools that this is the only place which cannot become Jonestown?
The whole rest of the world can become - because we are not interested in the afterlife, we are only interested in life here, now.
But strange are the ways of the world! A man like me is compared with Reverend Jim Jones .... I am absolutely for life, so much so that I am ready to drop God, paradise, heaven - everything! Life is so precious; everything can be dropped for it.
So if a real religiousness spreads and nations disappear - so far, so good. If religions disappear - so far, so good.
The Western man as Western, dies - so far, so good, because his death as Western will also mean the death of the Eastern man as Eastern. Those terms are related only to each other: the East cannot exist without West. The death of the Western man will be the death of the Eastern man - and that's perfectly good.
Then only man remains - neither Eastern nor Western, belonging neither to this nation nor to that nation. A single humanity rejoicing herenow in this very life, in this, the very lotus paradise ....