Religions, like diseases, are many: truth, like health, is one
WHAT IS RELIGION, AND WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD? IS IT NOT POSSIBLE TO HAVE JUST ONE RELIGION FOR THE WHOLE HUMANITY?
RELIGION is an inquiry just the way science is, with one difference:
Science inquires about the objective reality - that which is there, outside of you.
Science excludes the scientist himself. It inquires about everything except the inquirer.
Religion inquires about the inquirer.
It is an inquiry of the inner, the subjective.
It is immensely surprising that the scientists have never bothered about the consciousness which is doing all the investigations, inventions, discoveries. It seems absolutely absurd that you are not bothered about the most fundamental reality in the world - since man is the only one who has a subjectivity, who has an inner world.
A chair, a table - they exist. But they don't know that they exist, there is no knower within them.
They exist for you, not for themselves. There is no one inside them, they are only means. You can 385 use them, misuse them, it doesn't matter, because there is nobody inside who is going to be hurt, who is going to feel bad, who is going to react.
Man is the only phenomenon with a depth. Everything else is superficial. Everything else is just the surface; behind the surface there is nothing. It is just like peeling an onion: you peel one layer and you find another layer; you peel that layer and you find another layer. You go on peeling layer upon layer, and in the end nothing is left in your hands. You can go on peeling things - ultimately you are going to find nobody there.
And science is very accurate, very logical; but in a strange way the scientist keeps himself out of his investigations. He brackets himself out. He is the sole source, and he is not included in whatever he is doing. He is the doer, he is the witness, he is the finder - but he does not exist.
The scientist does not believe that he exists, for the simple reason that he cannot put himself as an object in front of himself. How can you put yourself as an object in front of yourself? Just try.
You jump in front of yourself but the one in front of whom you were jumping is no longer there, he has jumped. Again, in front of you there is nobody. You go on jumping.... The scientist concludes that you cannot put yourself in front of yourself, because you are not. If you were there just as other things are - the rocks, the trees, the whole existence - you would have been able to put yourself on the table. But this whole idea makes the scientist look silly.
The scientist goes on thinking that he is very clever, very intelligent, and of course he is, as far as things are concerned. But he has a blind spot. He believes in things, and because he is not a thing it obviously proves he is not. Only things exist, there is nothing other than things; and if you indicate something which is not a thing and yet exists, he is not going to believe it.
First you have to prove its thing-ness. Now that's impossible - consciousness is not a thing. What can we do? But just because it is not a thing does not mean it is non-existential.
One blind man was brought to Gautam Buddha; he was a logician, and of great genius. Many scholars had tried to prove to him the existence of light; they had all tried but they had all failed. He was always victorious in every argument, every discussion, every debate. He had become famous.
Everybody knows light is, but it was impossible to prove to the blind man, for the simple reason that the blind man had a certain condition which had to be fulfilled to prove anything exists.
He had only four senses instead of five, he did not have the faculty of seeing. Now there is no way to prove to him that he is missing a faculty. How can you prove it? You cannot show him, "Other people have eyes and you don't." That is the very problem, so you cannot show it to him; if you could show it to him there would be no problem. He would be able to see other people's eyes, so why would he not be able to see the light?
So first he said, "You are all trying to prove something which does not exist. There are no eyes. And if there are, just let me smell them, I can smell. Let me taste them, I can taste. I have got these four senses.... And the same about light. These are all just lies. If light exists, hit it with something, it will make a sound. Anything that exists, being hit by something, makes sound. I can hear the sound. Or at least put it in my hands. I can feel whether it is heavy, rough, smooth."
Now how to put light into his hands? How to make him taste light? What taste has light? What smell has light? But you cannot say that he is absolutely wrong. What can he do? - he has no eyes. All that he has he is ready to use, and you are unable to give him the proof by which he can judge.
The same is the situation with the scientists, even worse. The scientist is observing, experimenting, but he is not ready to believe that there is an observer in him. It will look to you, How is it possible?
Observation is one of the methods of science; certainly an observer is needed. For observation three things are needed: the observed, the object; the process of observation; and the observer from where the process will start. Observation is a connection between the object and the observer; between the known and the knower, knowledge happens.
The scientist is ready to accept the known, he is ready to accept the knowledge; but he is not ready to accept the knower, for the simple reason that the knower himself cannot be made an object of knowledge - and he believes only in objective reality.
If you look at it in this way, science will look like such an idiotic approach - based on such a stupid idea; even a small child can understand this. But you can also see the trouble. The scientist also feels it in moments when he is not so totally a scientist and is a little more human. He can see the point; but this problem is that unless something is observed, its existence is not proved. It remains only hypothetical.
Religion's whole work is that corner which science is continuously denying: to know the knower, to see the seer, to feel the feeler, to be conscious of consciousness. Certainly it is a far greater adventure than any science can ever be because it is going into the scientist himself. The scientist may go to the stars, may find the ultimate division of objective reality, but he will remain absolutely ignorant about himself.
In India we have small earthen lamps - they are nothing but small cups made of earth filled with oil.
They have a humbleness and a beauty, but a problem too. Because of that problem, in India there is a proverb: DIYA TALE ANDHERA. 'Underneath the lamp there is darkness'. It is a cup; the flame is there, it throws light everywhere, all around - but underneath itself there is darkness.
Strange, but exactly true about the scientist: he makes everything lighted, but just underneath him, within him, darkness - perhaps more darkness than in anybody else. It seems as if he makes the whole world lighted, and all the darkness that he expels from every corner becomes concentrated in his own being.
You ask me, What is religion?
Religion is to make lighted that dark inner world where no science can reach, where no science even believes that there is anything to find.
Religion goes into that darkness and dispels it.
Hence, the experience of religion is called enlightenment.
The moment the darkness from within you disappears, you are transformed, transmuted into a new being. Your whole life will remain the same but with a difference, and a difference that really makes a difference.
You will eat when hungry, and you will sleep when tired; but these simple acts will have a totally different connotation, a different quality, a different intensity, a different flavor. You will be asleep and yet awake. You will be tremendously loving but never falling in love, because to fall in love is a contradiction in terms. In love one should rise, not fall. You will be continuously loving, showering your love - and not only on those who are related to you.
The ordinary love is person-oriented: you love your mother, you love your brother, you love your wife, you love your son. The love of an enlightened person is not person-oriented; it is just his flavor, his fragrance. Even if a stranger passes by the side of him, he will be as much a receiver of his love as anybody else. Whether he receives it or not, that is up to him. He can keep his doors closed, he can remain hard, invulnerable, closed; but that is his doing.
The man who knows himself is just like you.
He is new but with only one difference:
His house is lighted, your house is dark.
You have every potentiality to put the light on.
Everything is there, you just have to put the switch on. You have to find the switch, which is not very difficult either - it is your house.
Man has been discovering millions of stars for the whole of his past, thousands of years, even trying to find out about the future - and is not capable of finding a small switch in his own being which can make his whole life a tremendous ecstasy.
Religion is the search for your inner light, for your inner being.
It is as much an inquiry as science, but much more profound, much higher.
Religion is the supreme inquiry.
It is the ultimate adventure that man can go on.
And the finding is the immeasurable treasure of all that is beautiful, blissful, peaceful, eternal, immortal.
That is your kingdom.
I will not call it the kingdom of God. Who is this fellow, God? And what has God to do with it? It is your kingdom.
Jesus makes you feel like a pauper, a beggar. You are blessed - why? - because you will be inheriting the kingdom of God. It is not yours, it is somebody else's; it depends on his mercy. So go on praying, praising the lord, saying, "Be merciful." Remain a beggar. Jesus makes you a beggar, and almost all the religions do the same. Hence I call all these religions, pseudo-religions. They are not truly religious.
True religion will make you the emperor.
It is not that you are going to inherit somebody else's kingdom - because anything inherited can be taken away. And there will be competition: Who gets ahead, who gets more, who gets a higher position?
The last night when Jesus was departing from his disciples, he was asked exactly the same question:
"Lord, you are now leaving. One thing has remained unsettled" - and you must know they were all Jews; business, after all, is business. "We have followed you so far" - and they were following just for the inheritance of the kingdom of God.
Now the question is, they were twelve. Of course they make the concession that Jesus is the son of God so he will be standing on His right side, he will be the second in the kingdom of God..."but who is going to be the third? You should decide among your twelve disciples what positions we are going to have there."
Now, if you talk in terms of kingdoms that will become your inheritance, then all these questions are simple: "Who will inherit the most?" And there is going to be constant fear that if you do something wrong you may lose it, so go on praising the lord.
That's what the Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans all around the world are doing. A very strange situation.... they all say, "Be humble. Do not hanker for possessions, do not be attached to things; remain contented with whatsoever you have, whatsoever you are." But why are all these people praying everywhere? Morning, evening, round the clock, millions of people are praying, millions of hours are wasted. For what? Inheritance.
Now, so many people.... I used to tell my father, "I don't want any inheritance."
He said, "What!"
I said, "Divided among so many people it is going to be almost nothing. So many millions of people have been here before, so many million people are here right now, and the world has not ended yet; millions more people are going to be here. Just think, a simple arithmetic: with so many millions of people, how much kingdom is going to be my inheritance?"
He said, "You will never stop asking mad questions!"
I said, "This is not a mad question. I am a businessman's son, I am simply asking - it is just pure business. If I am going to devote so many hours a day... what is going to be the outcome of it? I don't think God will even recognize me in such a crowd on the judgment day. Can you imagine the crowd?
"I don't think that anybody will bother what sins I have committed and what virtuous acts I have done.
In such a crowd... and everything has to be decided within twenty-four hours: one judgment day.
I don't think there is going to be any judgment on that day. And not only men, half of them will be women. There is going to be so much noise and so much gossiping, and people meeting - for so many lives they have not met.... You just imagine the situation!
"On that day, is any judgment going to happen? Is anybody going to bother about God? People will be looking after their friends and wives - and each person must have had millions of wives, in millions of lives, and millions of children. "I don't think..." I told my father "... I am absolutely certain, that that day particularly there is not going to be any judgment. Who is going to listen?"
But all these people are praying because these pseudo-religions have created a beggar in you. And a beggar can never be religious: only an emperor can be religious; hence, I have been telling you that religion is the ultimate luxury.
You have to drop the whole idea of being a pauper and beggar; you are not.
And the kingdom is not somewhere else in the future, in somebody else's hands, so that you have to praise him and massage his feet, and buttress him. It is within you; it is already there. Just a little groping within yourself... And that's what religion is: a little groping inwards.
But the pseudo-religions go on forcing you in the same way as science does. Science at least is objective and brings some results, because it is concerned with things. Pseudo-religion is the worst that could have happened. It is not religion, it is not an inquiry within; it is not science, it is not an inquiry into objective existence. Then what is it?
It is an inquiry into something which is within but it is trying to find it without; that which is within is being searched for without. That is the pseudo-religion.
Science is a little blind about the scientist himself but about everything else it has very clear perception. Religion is absolutely perceptive because it is pure awareness.
The pseudo-religion is nowhere, neither here nor there. It is neither objective nor subjective. It is a deception, it is cheating people. And the pseudo-religion has been fighting against both science and the true religion.
Just the other day in Athens, ten thousand Greek Orthodox clergymen marched into the capital in protest - it seems the twentieth century is never going to come - because of a textbook in Greek high schools in which Darwin is mentioned, and his theory that man has evolved out of animals.
Against that textbook, saying that it should be banned immediately, these bishops and cardinals and high priests all marched in black robes - a great day of mourning that this fool Charles Darwin still continues to be in the textbooks.
And they demanded, they had posters saying, "Nothing which is against God and God's religion will be tolerated. Everything that is against God should be banned from all educational institutions, and Greece should be declared a Christian country."
These people are against Charles Darwin. No problem - anybody can be against Charles Darwin.
But by your act you prove exactly what you want to be taken out of the textbooks. This behavior is not human. If you have guts and intelligence, prove Charles Darwin wrong.
So many years have passed, almost one century has passed: in one century all your Christian scientists, thinkers, theologians, professors - and they are counted in millions - could not prove this single man wrong.
On what grounds do you want this theory to be taken out of the textbooks? Just because you say so? Just because it goes against the theory of creation - that's the trouble.
God created the world in six days, and Charles Darwin says it has evolved - that is the trouble. You may not have seen exactly where the problem is. They are not worried that you have come from monkeys, that does not matter. If God can make man out of mud.... That's what the word human means: out of humus, mud; the word Adam also means out of mud.
If that is not insulting, that God created man in the Muddy Ranch.... That's why it is called The Big Muddy Ranch, because the biggest thing happened here. No, that is not insulting.
God created woman out of a rib of man.... He could not find anything else? Some great idea, a rib of man! So if these are not insults, then what is the problem if Charles Darwin thinks that man evolved slowly out of monkeys? Monkeys seem to be far better than mud; at least they are alive, in fact, very much alive... intelligent people. What is wrong in it? And if man or woman can be created out of a rib... the monkey has at least all the organs, not only a rib. No, that is not the problem.
People have thought that these clergymen, these Christians are against the theory of evolution because the monkey seems to be insulting. No, the problem is that God created man; and creation and evolution can't go together. Those are contradictory words.
Creation means a finished product; in six days God finished the world. He gave the last finishing touches, and after that He has not bothered at all. It is just like from a factory; from the assembly line, a car comes out completely finished. It does not go on evolving later on: two hands grow, a tail comes out, and strange things start happening to it - it is a finished product.
The idea of religions is that God created the world as a finished product. Now there is no question of evolution: Monkeys were created as monkeys, man was created as man, trees were created as trees; and there has been no evolution.
There is no progress, things are static. They are where they have always been. There is no movement. In fact if you go deep into it, time loses all meaning. Your clock unnecessarily goes on ticking, meaninglessly, because nothing changes; everything is a finished product.
Charles Darwin unknowingly... because he was himself an orthodox Christian, he was not aware of what he was doing. That's how unconscious man goes on doing things, sometimes even against his own philosophy, his own religion. He was not aware that he was doing anything against God. He was a very Godfearing man. He had not thought that the idea of evolution goes against God. But it does.
It means there has never been any creation. Things were never there as finished products, they have always been evolving. Evolution is eternal, is continuously going on, it is an ongoing process.
We have not reached the end either. There has never been any beginning, there will not be any end either. That's evolution - constant evolution, a continuum. That creates the trouble, it cancels the whole idea of creation.
So these pseudo-religions have been fighting against science. Anything that goes against their scriptures has to be prohibited. Anything that goes higher, becomes more human, more rational, has to be repressed.
Some twenty years ago, in America, they stopped prayers in schools and educational institutions because a democratic government should not support any kind of belief. If you support any kind of belief, whose belief are you going to support? In a democracy naturally it will be the majority, but then who is going to protect the rights of the minority?
If the Christian is in the majority, the country is Christian; then who is going to take care of the Jews, Mohammedans, Hindus, Buddhists - the small minorities? Their children will be forced to do Christian prayers, to read Christian scriptures, to go to the Christian Bible class, to pass in it. And it is against them.
This is simply against individual liberty, it is not democratic. So it was a great step when prayers were dissolved, stopped. But the Christians were hankering - and now they have a president who is as bigoted as any ordinary Christian. Now he supports a law that one minute of silence in every public educational institution - school, college, university - should be compulsory.
On the surface it seems there is no problem. Silence is totally different; one minute of silence is neither Jewish nor Christian nor Hindu - but then you are too simple-minded. The strategy is that Christian priests are telling the children in their congregations, "Use that one minute for Christian prayer. Remain silent, and inside you recite the prayer." Now this is bringing prayer in from the back door. How politicians work!
In the first place, Ronald Reagan should prove that he can remain silent for one minute. And now there are instruments, so it is not a problem for you to check whether you are silent or not. It is just like a cardiogram: wires are attached to your forehead and they start making a graph of whether you are thinking or not. If you are thinking, then the graph takes long leaps, small leaps, bigger leaps. If you are not thinking then there is a harmonious continuity of the graph.
It is so simple now to find out whether a man is silent or not. Just closing your mouth is no longer enough.
First Ronald Reagan should prove that he can remain silent for one minute. But nobody asked him.
Twenty-one states in America have already passed the bill that one minute's silence in every public educational institution is compulsory; just a hint from the president and they were all ready. And the priests are doing their work, saying "Use that one minute" - so prayer is back.
These pseudo-religions have corrupted human mind in every possible way. They have given you unscientific ideas, anti-scientific ideas. They have also given you orthodox, old, dead, out-of-date ideologies which prevent you from becoming contemporary.
And the most harmful thing that they have done is, they have prevented you from finding what religion is - because before you can find out what religion is, you are already a Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. The child has no chance to inquire, to doubt, to question.
When the child is so soft that you can engrave anything on him, you engrave. And later on when he becomes harder... those engravings remain lifelong with him. It is difficult to erase them, very difficult to get rid of them; they have become almost part of his bones and marrow.
You ask me why there are so many religions. There are so many religions just as there are so many diseases. There is only one kind of health, you don't need any adjective with it. If somebody asks, "How is your health?" you say, "I am perfectly healthy." He does not ask you, "What kind of health?"
If he asks you, "What kind of health?" you will be surprised. You will say, "Simply health! Health is just health, a sense of wellbeing, that nothing is wrong, that everything is running smoothly, that I am happy, that I can't think that things can be better than this."
Are there many kinds of health? No, there is only one kind: healthiness. But diseases are millions.
The same is the case with truth: truth is one. But lies are millions because lies depend on you; you can go on inventing as many as you want. Diseases depend on you. You can go on living wrongly, eating wrong things, doing wrong things, and you can go on creating new diseases.
Health is the same - always new, but it has always been the same. You can call it the ancientmost and yet the latest, the newest.
Five thousand years ago somebody was healthy, and now you are healthy; do you think there will be some difference? He was not your color, he knew not your language, and five thousand years have passed; but if somebody was healthy, whoever he was, whatever his language, whatever his color, man or woman, young or old - if he was healthy then you know at least one thing that he was:
That feeling of health you can experience. You need not know anything about that man - beautiful, ugly, short, tall, does not matter; one thing is similar, that he was healthy and you are healthy. One experience is exactly the same.
But diseases... every day new diseases go on being produced. There are millions of diseases, and there will be many more as man becomes more inventive.
You never go to the doctor because you are feeling healthy, or do you? saying, "For two weeks I have been feeling healthy, something must be wrong."
In fact in ancient China there was one thing worth remembering; perhaps some time in the future it may be used again. Confucius impressed China the most. One of his ideas was... and it became implemented, for centuries it remained functioning. The idea was: the doctor should be paid for keeping the patient healthy, not for curing him. If a doctor is paid for curing you then his vested interest is that you remain sick. The more you fall sick, the better; the more people are sick, the better. You are creating a dichotomy in the physician's mind.
First you teach the physician that his work is to keep people healthy: "Your function is to lengthen their life, vitality, youth." But the doctor's vested interest is that if everybody remains healthy, young, nobody falls sick, then he will die of hunger. If everybody is healthy then doctors will be sick, completely sick, sick unto death. What are they going to do?
No, a doctor's vested interest is against the philosophy that he has been taught. His interest is that people should remain sick, the more sicknesses the better. Hence you will see one strange thing: if a poor man falls sick, he gets well sooner than the rich man. Strange... why does the poor man get well soon? - because the doctor wants to get rid of him, he is unnecessarily wasting time. The poor man has no money to give; on the contrary, he asks the doctor for some money for medicine.
If the doctor prescribes fruits, milk, this and that, the poor man says, "Then give me some money.
When I have it I will return it." And the doctor knows that he can't return it. So give him medicine, give him fruits, it is better to cure him as quickly as possible.
But if a richer man falls sick then it takes very long.
Perhaps the doctor goes on praying to God, "Keep him sick." Perhaps he dilutes the medicines; and in countries like India you need not do anything because nobody knows what is in the packet.
You are giving injections and it is just pure water, even impure water. So the pharmacy people are immensely helpful in keeping people sick.
Confucius' idea is of great importance; he says that every person should pay the doctor a monthly salary for keeping him healthy. If he remains the whole month healthy then he has to pay a certain amount to the doctor. If he falls sick then accordingly the salary will be cut.
Very strange in the beginning, because we are doing just the opposite all over the world - but very logical, very sane. And Confucius is, in many ways, a sane man. Everybody should have his physician, and he should pay the physician for keeping him healthy, not for curing him. If he falls sick then the expenses go on the doctor; the medicines and all the expenses - and his salary will be cut too because he has not been taking care of the man.
For centuries it continued. And it worked well, tremendously well, for both; for the doctors, for the patients, for both it worked well. Doctors were not so heavily burdened. And patients were perfectly happy because now the vested interest of the doctor was not against them, it was in their favor.
So the doctor was not interested that they should in any way fall sick and should depend on medicine.
He was prescribing more exercises - walking, swimming, sports - so they would remain healthy. And for centuries, while Confucius' influence lasted, China must have been the healthiest country in the world.
The same is the situation with pseudo-religions. Pseudo-religions want you to be spiritually sick.
They don't want you to be full of light, they want you to be full of darkness, sadness, anguish; that's their vested interest.
If people are really happy and joyous then churches will fall empty, synagogues will disappear. Who is going to pay all these rabbis and all these bishops? For what? Who is going to listen to their stupid advice?
Pseudo-religions live only because you are not aware of the authentic religion. Hence whenever anybody is there with an authentic idea of religion, all pseudo-religions are against him, immediately.
That should be taken as an indication. A Jew can be against Christians, a Christian can be against a Jew, a Mohammedan can be against a Hindu; that is okay, that is just shopkeepers fighting amongst themselves, competitors fighting amongst themselves.
But you will not find all the so-called religions against one man. And whenever you find that, then be a little alert and cautious: that one man must have something which is hitting all the pseudo-religions in the same way. He is hitting their pseudo-ness. So it is no longer a question of Christian, Hindu, or Mohammedan; just one question is there.
Somebody has said, "In America, the government sources think that you are planted here by the Soviet Union." And in the Soviet Union my books are banned! I have a few sannyasins there, of course underground; but they meet, and one woman got caught because she was the messenger taking books, magazines and other things. And they harassed her in every possible way.
They wanted her to confess that I am an American agent preparing people and sending them into communist countries to sabotage. She said, "But this is absolutely absurd!" She informed me, "This is strange. In America they thing you are from the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union people think that you are an American agent!"
I said, "This is not new. The same was happening in India: Hindus were against me, Jainas were against me, Buddhists were against me, Mohammedans were against me, Christians were against me, Parsees were against me. These were the religions there which were against me."
And many times I was asked, "One can understand that one religion is against you, but all the religions...?"
And then the communist party also joined them. The communist party published a book against me. Then it was really hilarious: people who believe in God, they are against me; people who don't believe in God, they are against me; materialists are against me, spiritualists are against me.
Spiritualists think that I am a materialist; materialists think that I am a spiritualist. And nobody asks me who I am. They are deciding themselves - but they are all against me.
And on one point they agree: if I have to be destroyed, they all will be together. There will be no differences, no theological problems, no ancient quarrels and fights, nothing. They will all agree that this man has to be destroyed - for the simple reason that I am not striking against any single principle, I am striking against the very root: the pseudo-ness of religions.
And why did the communist party become involved? - because I say communism is a materialist pseudo-religion, just as fascism was a pseudo-religion.
Now the followers of Adolf Hitler say that he was the reincarnation of the prophet, Elijah. And I have received letters from them saying, "You should not speak against Adolf Hitler because it hurts our religious feelings."
I said, "My God, it is impossible to speak even against Adolf Hitler!" I had never thought - even in my craziest ideas I had never thought that it would hurt people's religious feelings. Political feelings I can understand, but there are no political feelings, there are only political ideas.
Yes, if I speak against Jesus, somebody's religious feelings may be hurt. But this letter is from the president of the American Nazi party, and it is a threat: "You should stop speaking against Adolf Hitler because it has not anything to do with politics, it is our religious feelings."
Adolf Hitler is a religious leader.... If these people had won, then you can imagine: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini - these people would have been installed in churches, in synagogues, in temples.
Krishna and Jesus and Buddha would have been thrown out and you would have been worshipping these people.
I am not being far-fetched. In Russia it has happened. Russia was one of the most orthodox Christian countries. What happened after the revolution? Now Lenin's grave is being worshipped, and while Stalin was alive his statues, his pictures were being worshipped. Karl Marx's book, DAS KAPITAL, has become the holy book of the communists. And the same misfortune has happened to DAS KAPITAL that happens to any holy book: nobody reads it.
To become a holy book is the worst fate that can happen to any book, because then nobody reads it. It is too holy to read; just worship it, put a few flowers on it.
A small boy was asked in school, "Can you tell us what is in THE BIBLE?" - because for a few days the teacher had been explaining what is in THE BIBLE.
The boy stood up and said, "Yes, I can tell you. In my Bible my sister keeps her love letters and my mother keeps my father's lock of hair."
The teacher said, "Is your father dead?"
He said, "My father is not dead but his hairs are gone, they are just an ancient memory. The hairs he once had she keeps. And my father keeps tickets from movies, race-courses, lotteries - my Bible is full of so many things." There is no Jesus in it, no Moses in it. These are the things that are significant in it.
A holy book finally reaches this state. The holier it becomes, the less it is read.
These books at least I have read because to me they are not holy, they are just books like any other books - badly written, not great masterpieces. You cannot compare them with Leo Tolstoy or Dostoevsky or Chekhov or Gorky - naturally, because Luke and Mark these poor fellows, what can they do to become Dostoevsky, Tolstoy? That is not possible. In fact whatever they have done, it is great; illiterate, poor, knowing nothing - at least they compiled whatever Jesus was saying.
And what can Jesus say, just in those four gospels? And those four gospels can be condensed because they are all repetitions, all the four: four versions of the same person, four journalists reporting a single speech. Each is a little bit different, but it is the same thing.
The whole BIBLE can be condensed to a small postcard, all that is essential can be written on a postcard. Even then those essential things are not authentic, they are all borrowed. Jesus is quoting; they are all within inverted commas. He is quoting old prophets, and those old prophets were quoting other old prophets. It is a very strange story.... Who is the guy who started all this nonsense? It is very difficult to find; they are all quoting.
THE BIBLE is not very old, but in India there are very ancient books; they also are all quoting.
Even the RIG VEDA, which is thought to be at least five thousand years old... even according to the Christian theologians, whose whole interest is to bring it as close to the present as possible because they have a problem. The problem is that THE BIBLE says God created the world four thousand and four years before Jesus. If there is a book which is older than that, that will create trouble. So the whole vested interest of Christian theologians is to bring the age down; but they cannot do more than that.
Actually, according to Hindu astrologers - and it seems to be a very scientific observation - the RIG VEDA describes a constellation of stars that happened ninety thousand years ago. About that, Western astronomy agrees: that that constellation, that particular constellation, happened ninety thousand years ago. And it is described so accurately, it is impossible that a book that was written five thousand years ago could describe something that happened eighty-five thousand years before it. There is no way to describe it, and so accurately. Either just by memory, from generation to generation, it was carried on... but then too the world must have existed long before four thousand years before Jesus.
That makes the world only six thousand years old. In India there are cities which are seven thousand years old, according to Western scientists. And if cities were there - and cities that you will not be able to believe...! And seeing the India of today it becomes even more improbable.
I have been to Mohanjodro and Harrapur; both are now in Pakistan. It seems that Mohanjodro must have been a great city of its times; it was destroyed seven times by some natural calamity, but exactly how is yet undecided. But the people were really courageous; they went on creating it again and again and again.
The city exists in seven layers. When the first layer was found it was thought that that was all, that was the whole city. And just by accident, while digging the first layer of the city, they found that there seemed to be another layer also, twenty feet below. Twenty feet of mud had covered the previous city; there must have been a tremendous flood that brought so much mud that the whole city was covered. In Mohanjodaro, by and by, seven layers have been found. Now they have come to the final layer; now there is no other level. Each time a flood had been there. One never knows how many thousands of years it took for the city to be destroyed seven times and to be rebuilt again.
The beauty is to see that the roads are far bigger than those of modern Bombay, far broader. The city was not just a primitive kind of city. Houses have attached bathrooms, which don't exist in today's India in at least ninety-eight percent of the houses.
The attached bathroom is a modern phenomenon. Even just two hundred years ago in Europe there was no attached bathroom; the outhouses were really outhouses. And when for the first time in America, a hundred years ago, the first attached bathroom was made, there was such an uproar!
It was against religion to have a bathroom in the house, a latrine inside the house; this was sin.
It was discussed in the parliament. It was with great difficulty that the Supreme Court decided that if somebody wants it in his house; if he wants a bathroom inside the house it is nobody else's business.
If you don't want to go to his house, don't go. But it is his individual freedom.
Within a hundred years we have moved far. The latest design from Scandinavia has a room in a bathroom. I loved the idea. Why an attached bathroom? The bathroom is bigger, the room is inside it. It should be in our commune, the first thing. It is going to make history, and perhaps again there will be trouble in parliament: "These people are now doing too much - putting your room and your study in the bathroom!"
But in Mohanjodro there are attached bathrooms, underground sewer systems, pipelines - not of metal, made of mud - pipelines bringing water into the bathrooms; hot and cold water both available; swimming pools, and at least three-storied buildings... seven thousand years ago.
That culture must have been on earth at least for two, three thousand years; otherwise how can you develop all these things?
All these holy books I have gone through. One thing is unanimously clear in every holy book: it is pseudo, it is not based on authentic experience; it is really a strategy to keep people in ignorance of authentic experience, because if the authentic experience becomes available to people, the whole priesthood loses itS glory, its power, its position. And the priesthood is one of the biggest professions in the world, the most respected profession, and perhaps the oldest profession.
People say that prostitutes are the oldest profession. I don't think so, because without a priest how can there be a prostitute? Who will call her a prostitute? Who will condemn her as a prostitute?
A priest is needed before a prostitute. In fact the prostitute is a by-product of the priesthood. The priest has to condemn sex, has to condemn any extramarital relationship, has to condemn premarital relationships. All that is needed to create a prostitute - and then he has to condemn the prostitute.
The priesthood seems to be the oldest exploiting profession, and certainly far worse than prostitution - at least the prostitute offers you something. And I don't think that she is absolutely useless.
Perhaps it is because of the prostitute that most of your marriages are stable; she is saving your marriages.
Wives are not worried if the husband goes to a prostitute because that is only a sexual relationship, there is no problem. He is purchasing a certain commodity,,that's all. But if the husband goes to some woman who is not a prostitute and cannot be purchased, then the wife becomes afraid, then she freaks out. Then there is danger.
The prostitute is never a competitor, she has never been thought of as a competitor. And the poor woman saves your marriages, saves many rapes happening in the society, because those people to whom she is available, if she were not available, would find some woman or other. They are not going to just sit silently and do nothing and let the grass grow by itself. For them the grass does not grow at all; you can go on sitting forever.
The prostitute is saving many women from being raped. And the poor woman is reduced to that situation by your whole society, and condemned. You reduce her to that position. No society has allowed the woman economic freedom; no society has allowed the woman education, culture, equality with men. You don't leave anything to her; except for her body she has nothing to sell.
And for this situation the priest is the most responsible. If anybody is going to hell, it is the priest, not the prostitute, because he causes the whole thing.
All holy scriptures and all priests are doing one thing, simply one thing: trying to hide the authentic religion - which erupts once in a while in spite of all their efforts. But they go on hiding it.
They do two things to hide it. First, they fight it. They try to crucify it, they try to kill it.
I have seen caps and sweaters with my head on them, the head crossed out. They are being sold - must be in millions because they are being produced in Hong Kong, in Taipei. When Hong Kong and Taipei or Korea produces anything, they produce in millions, never less than that. They cannot put me on the cross, it would be too crude and ugly - but the desire is there. That desire shows in those pictures, posters; the mind is the same.
The first thing is to destroy the person in every possible way. That's what they are doing here. They say that this city is illegal because it mixes religion and state. Now they are passing a bill in the assembly that our school should not get any grant from the government because they say it is a religious school. All the Christian schools are getting the grant; all the teachers are Christians, all the students are Christians, but it is not a problem.
Our schools don't teach religion at all because we don't have any religion in that way. Our teachers don't even wear the mala in the school when they go to teach.
I saw a film about the Supreme Court of America and how it has been drifting by and by, more and more protecting the government rather than the individual. And the reason why they are doing it is because in America.... The Supreme Court has nine judges; they are appointed by the president and they are life-long appointments. That provision was made so that nobody could pressure them.
Once a judge is appointed, he is appointed for his whole life; so you cannot pressure him - what pressure can you put on him?
You cannot throw him out of the job. There is no higher post to which you can prevent his promotion, and you cannot demote him. Nothing can be done to him, that's why this idea came about. But they forgot one thing: that some day a president has to appoint the judge. And by coincidence, five out of nine of the judges are going into retirement this year; their life term is finished.
Now Ronald Reagan has the power to appoint five Supreme Court judges out of nine: five will be his men. That has taken away all the independence and glory of the Supreme Court. Now they are dancing to the tune of Ronald Reagan. Because he wanted this one-minute silence to be introduced, the court has not objected; even though the same court had, twenty years before, stopped prayer, which had been going on for two centuries.
This film does an investigation; it goes around, inquire s of teachers, school principals.... And I was surprised that openly, on public media, teachers declare... one woman teacher declared, "I am a twenty-four-hours-a-day Christian, so even when I am teaching" I am a Christian. And I will continue to teach my beliefs. And Christianity is not a religion, it is a way of life."
If Christianity is a way of life, then all the religions are ways of life. What is the problem? And if a Christian carl say, "I am twenty-four hours a day a Christian, then why should a Jew not be twenty-four hours a day a Jew? And as far as my people are concerned they work at least double what anyone else does. They are forty-eight-hours-a-day Rajneeshees; in twenty-four hours they do forty-eight hours' work.
And it is not only a way of life, it is a way of death too, because living we have our style, dying we will have our style. But we don't teach any religion because w e don't have any beliefs. And this woman says open1'1 that she will continue - whatever the government decides, or the Supreme Court decides, she will continue to teach her beliefs.
These schools will continue to get the grant from the government, and all the schools, almost all, are in the same position. But the bill is only against our school, one single school, one small school.
They will try first to destroy us in every possible way.
When I came here for the first time I used to see every fifteenth day of the month, the county road being mended. But for the last two years they have stopped mending the county road because our people are passing on that road, so "let them suffer as much as they can."
The first effort of the pseudo-religions will be to destroy. And once they have succeeded in killing the man, or in some way camouflaging his message, the second thing is to praise him, to make a great religion out of his teachings. It will look very contradictory to you, but this is how it works.
Kill the authentic man, the authentic message, and then distort whatever he has said - comment on it make a great theology out of it so all that he has said is lost in the turmoil; make a religion out of it.
Again, new employment for new priests they don't miss that point. Jesus is crucified but the pope is welcomed. In fact they should crucify every pope just to prove that they are Jesus' followers, representatives. Something should be done. If you don't want to crucify completely, just cut off somebody's head, somebody's hands, somebody's legs, but do something to prove that this man represents Jesus who was crucified... represents him at least partially.
But they are welcomed. When the last pope came to India it was a problem. The president of India came to Bombay to receive him Doctor Radhakrishnan was the president. I asked him in New Delhi afterwards, "You never go to receive the shankaracharya, you never go to receive the head of the Jainas or the Buddhists. You are a Hindu, and you are a follower of the shankaracharya of South India. You never go even to Delhi airport to receive him when he comes to Delhi. Why did you go to receive the pope?"
He said, "It is politics."
I said, "Then, if you are a man of any integrity, renounce this politics and expose it." The pope has to be received by the president because the pope controls six hundred million Catholics around the world - and those are the richest countries that he controls. So it is not the Pope that you went to receive. You would not have gone to receive Jesus, you would have been one of those to crucify Jesus. His representative is being received, welcomed, and you are not even ashamed."
But that is what is happening all over the world: wherever the pope goes there is a red-carpet welcome. Jesus was never given a single red-carpet welcome. Even a small red carpet would have done. The only welcome was that he had to carry his cross himself - and he was not that strong, and the cross was really heavy and big. He fell three times on the way, and they wouldn't allow anybody to support him. They lashed his body and told him, "Get up! That is your teaching. You have been saying to people that everybody has to carry his own cross - now carry it."
This was the welcome that he received.
Once Jesus died then a new shop opened. On his death started a new religion, a new employment source for the priesthood; and really it turned out to be a big business. As far as I know, Jews are still hurting; they missed the greatest opportunity. It was their own boy who started the whole firm, and others are reaping the crop! They missed their chance.
So first the pseudo-religions will kill the authentic religious person, the source. And then the priesthood will gather around and will make another pseudo-religion. That's why pseudo-religions go on becoming more and more and more; there are three hundred already on the earth.
And you ask me, Is it not possible to have one religion for the whole humanity? It is not possible, nor is it needed, because the whole idea of monopoly has always been there.
Mohammedans have been trying to make the whole world Mohammedan so there would be one religion. Christians have been trying to turn the whole world Christian so there would be only one religion. All these people have been trying to have one religion for the whole humanity.
No, even to support that idea is dangerous because that simply means, destroy others. But who are we? If somebody wants to remain a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian, then it is his choice.
It is nobody else's business. Religion is a private concern, a personal concern. You like a certain flower, and I don't like it, but that does not men that we are enemies.
No, there is no need of one religion.
But there can be one religiousness.
People can belong to different kinds of religions but still they can carry the same quality of religiousness. Then there is no problem about whether they go to the church or to the synagogue or to the temple, or nowhere. They may not go anywhere their own house is a temple.
It is possible - not only possible, it should be made actual - that there could be one religiousness in the whole humanity, but that religiousness can take as many forms as possible. I love a world full of variety, full of colors, full of different perfumes. There is no need to regiment the whole humanity into one pattern, into one model. That will be ugly. That will not make man rich, it will make man utterly poor.
So it is a little complicated. But you have to understand me.
I accept as many religions as possible. In fact I would like every individual to have his own religion - as many religions as there are individuals in the world, but all having the same quality of religiousness. Millions of lovers can be there but the quality of love is the same; millions of intelligent people are there, but the quality of intelligence is the same.
Light your inner being and your life will start spreading vibrations which are exactly the same; in whomsoever that enlightening happens, the same vibration will arise. And you will easily be able to recognize people - whatever their color, whatever their language, whatever their country, you will be able to recognize immediately that that man's house is lighted.
You can see it even from the outside; even from the windows, the light shows that the inside is lighted. You need not even go inside the house. The house can have any shape, any color, any paint, any architecture - it doesn't matter. What matters is whether the windows are showing the light or not, whether your eyes are full of light or not, whether your being radiates religiousness or not.