The good shepherd - the butcher's friend
ARE YOU ESPECIALLY AGAINST CHRISTIANITY?
I hate to favor Christianity with any special attention but unfortunately it deserves it. It is the ugliest manifestation of religion on the earth, for many reasons.
The first: Christianity is the only well-organized religion.
The more a religion is well-organized, the less is the possibility of its being a religion.
Truth, by its very nature, cannot be organized.
To organize truth, or to kill it, mean the same thing.
Truth is alive when organization is only functional, loose. Christianity's organization is very tight, bureaucratic, hierarchical. Because of this kind of organization, it has become more a game of power politics than the flowering of religious qualities.
In the past two thousand years Christianity has done more harm to humanity than any other religion.
Mohammedanism has tried to compete with it but has not been successful. It came very close but Christianity still remains on the top. It has slaughtered people, burned people alive. In the name of God, truth, religion, it has been killing and slaughtering people - for their own sake, for their own good.
And when the murderer is murdering you for your own good, then he has no feeling of guilt at all. On the contrary, he feels he has done a good job. He has done some service to humanity, to God, to all the great values of love, truth, freedom. He feels excited. He feels that he is now a better human being. When crimes are being used for people to feel better human beings, that is the worst that can happen to anybody. Now he will be doing evil, thinking it is good. He will be destroying good, thinking it is good.
This is the worst kind of indoctrination that Christianity has put into people's minds. The idea of the crusade, of a religious war, is a great contribution of Christianity. Mohammedanism learned it from Christianity; they cannot claim to be the originators of the idea. They call it jehad, holy war, but they came five hundred years later than Jesus. Christianity had already created in people's minds the idea that a war too can be religious.
Now, war as such is irreligious.
There cannot be anything like a crusade, a jehad, a holy war.
If you call war holy, then what is left to be called unholy?
This is a strategy to destroy people's thinking. The moment they think of crusade, they don't think there is anything wrong: they are fighting for God against the devil. And there is no God and no devil - you are simply fighting and killing people. And what business is it of yours anyway? If God cannot destroy the devil, do you think you can? If God is impotent and cannot destroy the devil, then can this polack pope do it? Can these Christians do it? Can Jesus do it? And for eternity God has lived with the devil.
Even now the forces of evil are far more powerful than the forces of good, for the simple reason that the forces of good are also in the hands of the forces of evil.
Calling war religious, holy, is the cause of war - because the first world war happened in the Christian context, the second world war happened in the Christian context, and the third world war is going to happen in the Christian context.
There are other religions also, but why did these two great wars happen in the Christian context?
Christianity cannot save itself from taking the responsibility. Once you create the idea that war can be holy then you cannot monopolize the idea.
Adolf Hitler was saying to his people, "This war is holy"; it was a crusade. He was simply using Christianity's contribution. He was a Christian, and he believed himself to be the reincarnation of the prophet, Elijah. He thought himself equal to Jesus Christ, perhaps better, because what Jesus could not do, he was trying to do. All that Jesus succeeded in doing was getting crucified. Adolf Hitler was almost successful. If he had succeeded - which was ninety-nine percent possible, just by one percent he missed - then the whole world would have been purified of all that is Jewish, of all that is non-Christian. What would have remained?
And do you know? - Adolf Hitler was blessed by the German archbishop, who told him, "You are going to win because Christ is with you and God is with you." And the same fools were blessing Winston Churchill, saying, "God is with you and Christ is with you - you are sure to win." The same fools, even bigger ones, were in the Vatican, because the Vatican is just part of Rome, and Mussolini was being blessed by the pope - a representative, an infallible representative, of Jesus Christ.
One can think the German archbishop is not infallible, the archbishop of England is not infallible - we can forgive them, fallible people - what about the pope, who for centuries has been claimed by the Christians to be infallible? Now, this infallible pope blesses Mussolini for victory because "he is fighting for Jesus Christ and God" - and Mussolini and Adolf Hitler are one party. Together they are trying to win the whole world.
Perhaps the pope was hoping that if Mussolini wins then Christianity will have a chance to become the universal religion. They have been trying for two thousand years to make Christianity the universal religion, to destroy all other religions. It is not only that Christianity has contributed to the idea of war....
In Jainism there is no question of holy war.
Every war is unholy.
You may be fighting in the name of religion, but fighting itself is irreligious.
Buddhism has no idea of any holy war; hence, Jainism and Buddhism have never contributed to any single war - and their history is very long. Jainism at least for ten thousand years has been in existence and has not had a single war, holy or unholy. Buddhism is also older than Christianity, five hundred years older, and has as big a membership as Christianity - because except India, the whole of Asia is Buddhist - but not a single war. There has not been a single instance of any Buddhist priest blessing any kind of war.
Wars have been there; politicians have been there in those countries too. They have been fighting - Japan and China have been fighting and both are Buddhist - but neither Japanese Buddhist priests nor Chinese Buddhist priests were in any way involved, not even by giving a blessing. These people show a little bit of courage. And the pope seems to be absolutely hocus-pocus. He has no guts.
In India, a few years back, China attacked India. For the first time in the whole history of India, a Jaina acharya, head of one of the Jaina sects, blessed the government, the Indian government. His name is Acharya Tulsi.
I had to fight against him, criticizing him; I went all over the country telling people, "this man should be defrocked and removed from his headship because he has committed a crime for which, in ten thousand years, no single Jaina priest has ever been blamed. This man is a politician - this man is not religious."
I talked to Acharya Tulsi and I told him, "If you had any sense of dignity you would resign from the headship, because you have acted like a politician. What business was it of yours? Who has asked you to bless India against China? For a religious man, political boundaries should not mean anything. India is yours, China is yours; and if they are fighting, let them fight. You should rather pray that this war stops, that some wisdom comes to these fools - both parties. That would be religious."
And I told him, "You are acting more like a Christian pope than like a Jaina priest."
He was angry with me, but he had no substantial argument. I said, "Anger is not an answer to me; it is simply an acceptance of defeat. And why do you go on hanging about in the capital, in New Delhi?
Has this whole, vast country no interest for you? You should go out to people, and you are simply remaining in New Delhi." There was only one reason for that: in New Delhi he had rich supporters.
Jainas are rich people, and those rich people have power over politicians. Even a man like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi's father, who was a very powerful man - even he had to come to see Acharya Tulsi, because those Jainas could give donations to his party, in milE lions, and they were pressuring him to come.
Of course, the head priest of their religion could not come to the prime minister. So Jawaharlal Nehru had to go to him, just because those people were the people who would be supporting him in the next election; otherwise in the next election they would all turn to the opposite parties. And what did Acharya Tulsi do? He was going to do the same to me but I prevented him. The Jaina acharya, the head, or the Jaina monk, is above humanity, he is a superman, so when you greet him in the t Indian way of saluting, you do namaskar before him with both your hands folded. He will not answer your namaskar in the same way, as is expected from everybody else: he will just bless you with one hand. Now, Jawaharlal had no idea of what Acharya Tulsi was doing continually. He went up to him, and just as simple etiquette he did namaskar. Acharya Tulsi put his hand over Jawaharlal's head, and the photographer who is always there with Acharya Tulsi immediately took a photograph!
A calendar was immediately published and all over India was distributed free - a beautiful colored calendar of Acharya Tulsi blessing Jawaharlal, with Jawaharlal standing with bowed down head and folded hands. I saw that calendar, and I could also see in the calendar the embarrassment on Jawaharlal's face and the joy on Acharya Tulsi's face. But poor Jawaharlal could not do anything - it all happened so quickly. The photograph had been taken and it would have looked odd to say something.
The same people, when I was passing through New Delhi, pestered me, saying, "You have to come to see Acharya Tulsi."
I said, "If he wants to see me he should come. Why should I go to him? I have no desire to see him." Then they pestered my host. He was an old man, and he loved me so much that he said to me, "They are really anxious for you to meet him, and what is the harm?"
I said, "You don't really know me, and you have never seen me encountering such people. Don't say anything to me later on!" - because he was also a Jaina. "I am willing to come, but what will transpire there only God knows, and there is no God. In fact, nobody knows." When we say God knows, it means nobody knows... just a nice way of saying nobody knows.
He said, "Nothing wrong will happen. Come."
I said, "You don't know. I am not saying that something is expected from that person. No, I am saying that anything that happens will come from me." But he could not understand, so we went.
All Acharya Tulsi's rich disciples were there, and he was sitting on a high pedestal. But I did not do the namaskar - I had seen that calendar before - I just held my hand over his head. Now he was embarrassed; what to do? And I told the photographer, "Go on, you are not to stop. You do your job."
I went to the photographer's studio; of course I could not get that negative. He said, "What to do? What you did was really a great thing! I hate this man. But you did the right thing - nobody has done that yet. And this is his whole strategy. All politicians, presidents, prime ministers, ministers, governors, ambassadors from other countries, are brought to him and told, ?his is the way to approach him.' So those poor fellows approach him that way, and then he blesses them with the photographer there." The photographer said, "Someone did the right thing for the first time; and Acharya Tulsi was in such a confusion about what to do."
Now, when I was giving him my blessing he could not give me a blessing: he was in shock! And when I told the photographer, he took the photograph. "But," he said, "before I left they took the reel; they forced me to give them the reel. They said,'That photograph is not to go out.""
But I told Acharya Tulsi, "what are you doing here in New Delhi? All this show business is political.
And blessing India shows simply that you are not a man who joins the universal consciousness, you live within boundaries." But this is the only instance of Jaina involvement in politics, and no Hindu shankaracharya has ever blessed a war.
Now, Christianity deserves all the credit for making war, the most ugly thing in human life, holy.
And then behind the name of a crusade you can do everything: rape women, burn people alive, kill innocent children, old people - anything. This is a blanket term, a cover: a holy war, a crusade.
But what actually happens behind it? All atomic weapons, nuclear weapons, are produced in the Christian context.
It is not that the world lacks intelligence. If China can produce Confucius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Mencius, Lieh Tzu, there is no reason why China cannot produce an Albert Einstein, a Lord Rutherford. There is no reason at all, because Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Confucius - any of them is a thousand fold wiser than Jesus or Moses. They are simply pygmies compared to these people. If such geniuses can be created by China, then there is no reason why China cannot create atomic scientists. And do you know, China was the first in creating the printing press? In China the printing press has been in existence for three thousand years.
In India, if they can produce a man like Patanjali, who single-handedly has produced the whole system of yoga; if they could produce Gautam the Buddha, Mahavira the Jaina, Shankara, Nagarjuna - great philosophers; there is no one comparable from the West, not a single person can be held up in comparison to Gautam Buddha. And it is not only philosophers. If you compare Patanjali of five thousand years ago with any physiologist of today, you will find that the physiologist knows nothing compared to Patanjali.
Three thousand years ago in India, Sushrut, a great physician and surgeon, existed. In his books he describes the most intricate surgery that is possible only today - even brain surgery, and with all the instruments. If these people could produce that. what was missing? Why were they not trying to produce atom bombs? India produced mathematics, without which no science is possible. That's why in all the languages you still follow the Indian digital system, because it was produced first in India: the numbers one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
In Sanskrit nine is nava, eight is asth, seven is Sanskrit sapt, six is Sanskrit cha, three is Sanskrit thri, English two is Sanskrit dwa which became twa in Latin, and from twa turned to two. All these numbers in all the languages come from Sanskrit.
Seven thousand years ago they created the basis of mathematics, but they never used their mathematical understanding for destructive purposes. They used it for creative purposes because no religion there was giving them the incentive to war. All religions were saying war is ugly - about that there was no dispute - and those countries were not going to support any program, any project, any research, which was going to lead them into war.
The first astronomical book was written in India four thousand years ago. Those people were far ahead of the West. Four thousand years ago the West did not even have a single name to mention.
The greatest names in the West are not more then twenty-five centuries old. Perhaps with Socrates your greatest name happens, but Socrates was three or four thousand years later. What he said had already been said and what he thought he was contributing to thought was not new. Of course, to him it was new because he was unaware that somewhere people had already talked about this and had gone very deep into it.
I am saying this to make it clear to you that it is Christianity which is responsible for giving science the incentive to war. If Christianity had created an atmosphere of non-violence, and had not called war holy, then we would have avoided these two world wars; and without those two, certainly the third could not happen. Those two are absolutely necessary steps for the third; they have led you already towards the third. You are geared for it, and there is no possibility to come back, to turn back.
Not only has science been corrupted by Christianity, Christianity itself has given birth to strange ideologies, either directly, or as a reaction. In both ways it is responsible. Poverty has existed in the world for thousands of years, but communism is a Christian contribution. And don't be misguided by the fact that Karl Marx was a Jew, because Jesus was also a Jew. If a Jew can create Christianity....
The context of Karl Marx is Christian, it is not Jewish. The idea was given by Jesus Christ. The moment he said, "blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God," he sowed the seed of communism.
Nobody has said it so straight, because to say it so straight you need a crazy man like me - who can call a spade not only a spade but a fucking spade! What is there in just calling a spade a spade?
Once Jesus created the idea that "Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God,"
it was child's play to change it to the more practical and pragmatic communism. What Marx says in essence is, "blessed are the poor for theirs is the earth." He is simply changing some spiritual jargon into practical politics.
"Kingdom of God" - who knows whether it exists or not? But why waste this opportunity when you can have the kingdom of earth? The whole of communism is based on that single statement of Jesus. It is just a little turn, throwing away the esoteric nonsense and bringing practical politics into it. Yes, blessed are the poor because theirs is the whole kingdom of this earth - that's what Karl Marx is saying.
Strange, that nowhere else - in the context of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism or Confucianism - does communism appear; it appears only in the context of Christianity. It is not just accidental, because you can see fascism also appears in the context of Christianity. Socialism, Fabian socialism, Nazism - all are Christian children, kids of Jesus Christ. Either directly influenced by him... because he is the man who says, "in my kingdom of God a camel can pass through the eye of a needle but a rich man cannot enter through the gates."
What do you think about this man? Is he not a communist? If he is not a communist then who is? Even Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin or Mao Tse-tung, have not made that strong a statement:
A rich man cannot enter into the kingdom of God. And you see the comparison he makes? It is possible for a camel - this is impossible - to pass through the eye of a needle. He says even that is possible, but the entrance of a rich man into the kingdom of God is impossible. If it is impossible there, why leave them here? - make it impossible here too. That's what Marx did.
In fact what theoretically Jesus provided, Marx gave a practical turn. But the original theoretician was Jesus. Karl Marx may not have even recognized it, but in no other context is communism possible. In no other context is Adolf Hitler possible. In India if you want to declare yourself a man of God, you cannot be an Adolf Hitler. You cannot even participate in politics, you cannot even be a voter. You cannot destroy millions of Jews, or millions of people belonging to other religions and still claim that you are a reincarnation of an ancient prophet, Elijah.
In India there have been thousands of people declaring that they are incarnations, that they are prophets, tirthankaras, but they have to prove it by their lives too. Maybe they are phony, most of them are - but even then, nobody can be an Adolf Hitler and still say that he is a prophet, that he is a religious man.
I received a threatening letter from somewhere in America. I had never thought about it, that there is, in America, a Nazi party. The president of the American Nazi party wrote a letter to me saying, "We have been hearing you speak against Adolf Hitler - that hurts our religious feeling." I am rarely amazed but I was amazed: their religious feeling! "Because to us Adolf Hitler is the prophet Elijah, and we hope that you will not hurt our religious feeling in future."
I told Sheela, "Now I am especially going to hurt them more. I was not aware of that, that religious feelings are hurt by speaking about or criticizing Adolf Hitler." You cannot think of this happening in India or China or Japan - impossible But in a Christian context it is possible: not only possible, it has already happened.
And if Hitler had won the war, all these Americans and all these Russians and all these British people would be worshipping him as God. He would have been proclaimed as having overcome the world and changed the whole of humanity into Christianity. And he would have changed it; he had the power.
What power did poor Jesus have? - he could not save himself But Adolf Hitler winning the war would have certainly changed the whole world into Christianity. But that Christianity would not have been the Christianity of Jesus Christ; it would have been the Christianity of Adolf Hitler. The BIBLE would not have been the holy book any more. Hitler's autobiography, MY STRUGGLE - what do you call it, Prasad, MEIN KAMPF? Okay - that would have been the holy book.
Christianity has exploited more people than any other religion. Just two or three days ago Sheela brought me three pieces of information. One was that Mother Teresa has praised the government of Oregon because they sent a trivial gift of some food packages to the hungry people of Ethiopia Mother Teresa knows I am here. Not only does she know I am here; because I am here she accepted an invitation from a small group who are trying to create a commune against me near The Dalles.
It is difficult - how to create a commune against me? So they have brought Gandhi's - Mahatma Gandhi's - grandson from India. Good ideal He will be the center of the commune, and it will be a Gandhian commune. Mother Teresa was going to inaugurate it, and they must have told her what the purpose of this commune is. The whole purpose is.... There is this whole world, and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson finds Wasco County in which to open a commune. For Gandhi there is as much land available as they want in India; the government is Gandhian, everything is in Gandhian hands.
They can have as many funds as needed - millions are given to them every year.
In India there is not a single commune of Gandhi's. Even his own old ashramas are empty, nobody lives there. Now they are just on exhibition, memorials. A few servants are kept to preserve them for visitors to see, for tourist purposes. Do you think it can be just a coincidence that they come to Wasco County? And do you know who is supporting them? The man who lives on the other side of our river - he is giving them the whole money! He purchased this place near The Dalles also just to create some commune against us, but he could not find enough people. And even the grandson of Gandhi was not courageous enough to come so close.
Mother Teresa was willing to come to open it, but in the end she refused because what happened was that the people of The Dalles became against them, just as they are against us, thinking that these Indians are simply trying to take over Wasco County. They could not understand the purpose of those people, and the people could not say directly that they have come just to destroy my commune. So the people in The Dalles simply thought that this is just another trouble.
Mother Teresa had come to Washington; she was just going to fly up and do the opening ceremony.
But from Washington she turned back. She said, "I have some urgent work," because, finding that the people of The Dalles - Christians - were against it, she would not take an unnecessary risk.
But praising Oregon's government for a small meaningless gift that they have sent to Ethiopia! If she had not praised them, nobody would have even known that Oregon had sent anything, because it was not something big - millions of dollars or anything. Some powdered milk and goods have reached Ethiopia from all over the world, but she chooses only Oregon to praise. She wants the Oregon government to have some rapport with her so she can influence them against me. But she need not be worried; they are already against me. Whatever more is needed I am doing. I never take anybody's help.
The second bit of news Sheela brought to me was that in the 1983 fiscal year a Christian organization, I.C.A. - International Christian Aid - collected thirty-four million dollars to help Ethiopia.
On television and in newspapers they advertised widely all over the world, and thirty-four million dollars they collected. Not a single cent has reached Ethiopia: the whole of the money simply disappeared!
The president of I.C.A. was asked, "what happened to the money? Thirty-four million dollars and nothing has reached Ethiopia?" They said, "Our policy is not to give to the government; we send the support from independent agencies, so we have sent the whole money through an independent agency in France, an association of doctors called 'Doctors without Borders.'"
When the president of "doctors without Borders" was asked, he said, aWe have received not a single cent, and we don't know who these people are." This is what Christianity has been doing down the ages in the name of the poor, in the name of the orphans, in the name of hungry people.
In'84, they collected nearabout fifty-five million dollars again, and nothing is known what happened to those fifty-five million dollars either.
And the third piece of news was just hilarious. The Olympics that happened in L.A. just a few months ago was organized by a Christian association, again to help the hungry people of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is great! They should remain always hungry - they help so many people. They should be kept always hungry. And of course, all the money that was going to be earned by the Olympics was going to Ethiopia. Nobody knows how much money was collected - it must have been billions of dollars - but the whole of the money has simply disappeared!
And the great idea those people had! They had collected the whole of the money - all kinds of bills, small, big - the way you collect wheat or other foodstuffs, in big metal cans, just like we collect our own food here. It was so much money that small safes wouldn't do: it was collected in big, the largest possible, metal containers. And after the Olympics, when the containers were opened, the money was missing.
The newspaper cutting Sheela brought had a comment at the end: "Perhaps hungry rats have eaten it. What else?" So it has reached hungry people somehow - if not in Ethiopia, then hungry rats here.
But I don't think rats are interested in eating money; and even if they eat it, they won't eat it so totally that not even a fragment of it is left. The containers were absolutely clean. The hungry rats seem to be very hygienic: they must have eaten the money and then cleaned up. Now, it is thought that perhaps a second Olympics should be arranged because those Ethiopian hungry people are still hungry.
These Christian associations and churches are serving people so desperately. They don't ask you whether you want to be served or not, they simply go on serving you. They remind me of the man I have told you about, the opium addict barber in front of my house, Natthu Kaka.
In India it is almost a tradition, in barber's shops or hotels or tea shops, to keep all kinds of papers, newspapers, magazines. So people come to look at a magazine and a newspaper, and by the way when they are there they will drink tea, or eat a samosa or something; while they are there reading they will have something. So Natthu Kaka used to have papers, and sometimes people would come.
It would always be only the strangers, because nobody who knew him would even come close to him. A stranger, maybe somebody from outside the city, an agent from some company, an insurance company or some pharmaceutical company, would enter his shop - and he had a beautiful place - and they would start reading the magazines. Then Natthu Kaka would start shaving them, without even asking them. He always started from the head, and by the time the man was aware, a corner of his head would be clean and he would say, "What are you doing!"
Natthu Kaka would say, "Don't be worried. If you don't want to pay, don't pay; at the most, if you don't want to pay, don't pay." But now the man could not go half-shaved - that would be more ridiculous - so he would say, "What kind of man are you?"
Natthu Kaka would say, "There is no problem. It is just that having nobody else, I go on practicing on anybody. And it is not necessary for you to pay: if you want to pay, you can pay; if you don't want to pay it is okay. Just for my practice...."
I had seen it happen so many times that I told Natthu Kaka, "You are almost a Christian."
He said, "What do you mean? I am a Hindu."
I said, "No, you are not a Hindu, you are a Christian; you don't even ask people whether they want to be shaved or not, you just start shaving."
Christians have been trying to save the world - but who has given you the authority to save anybody?
Even if you save without asking for payment, who has given you the authority? No, they have the authority from Jesus, and Jesus had the authority from God himself I have thought many times: if Jesus had entered Natthu Kaka's salon, Natthu Kaka would have shaved him free, and then Jesus would have understood that it is not right to save somebody without asking him.
I am not paying special attention to Christianity, but it deserves it. It has done so much harm, so much nuisance. It is impossible to believe that people still go on keeping it alive. The churches should be demolished, the Vatican should be completely removed. There is no need of these people. Whatever they have done they have done wrong. Other religions have also done wrong, but proportionately they are nothing compared to Christianity.
It has been exploiting the poverty of people to convert them to Christianity. Yes, Buddhism has converted people, but not because people were hungry and you provided them food, and because you provided them food they started feeling obliged to you. If you provide them clothes, if you provide them other facilities - education for their children, hospitals for their sick people - naturally they feel obliged. And then you start asking them, "what has Hinduism done for you? What has Buddhism done for you?"
Naturally, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism have never opened a hospital, a school; they have never done any such service. This is the only argument. And those people are so obliged that they feel certainly no other religion has been of any help to them, and they become Christians. This is not an honest way, this is bribing people. This is not conversion, this is buying people because they are poor. You are taking advantage of their poverty.
Buddhism has converted millions of people, but that was through Buddhism's intelligence. The conversion happened at the top. You will see that difference. Buddhism converted kings, emperors, masters, great writers, poets and painters; and because the king of the society became Buddhist, seeing that the intelligent people, even the emperor, had become Buddhist, others followed.
Buddhists argued in the courts of emperors. If the emperor was a follower of some religion, the Buddhists argued, and they were ready, if they were defeated in argument, to be converted to the religion the emperor followed. But if the Buddhists won, then the emperor and his whole court had to be converted to Buddhism. This is honest, intelligible, rational procedure.
Jainas have converted emperors. Their first effort was to change the cream, the highest strata, because that makes it simple: then the people who follow those people naturally understand that if their topmost intelligentsia are becoming Jainas that means their religion is not able to argue for its doctrines, its standpoint. Never before Christianity has this been done - converting the lowest strata. But you can see the difference. When the highest strata of the society was converted, the whole society followed.
When the Chinese emperor, Wu, and his court were converted to Buddhism, just because the court had the topmost intellectuals of the country and they were all defeated one by one - they could not answer - the whole of China was converted. They were Confucians, they were Taoists, but they were converted; they could not answer the Buddhist monk. The emperor had simply to surrender - this seems to be a human, intelligent way - and then the whole country followed automatically.
The emperor goes to the feet of the Buddha, his court goes to the feet of the Buddha; the emperor's son and daughter become monks and nuns of a Buddhist order. The whole country simply understands that what they have been following up to now, these people they were following, have proved wrong. Something better has arrived - something more sophisticated, something more logical and rational. It changed the whole society.
In India or in China, or anywhere, Christians have approached the lowest strata. But that does not change the whole society, remember, because who bothers about those beggars you change? They are not leaders, they are not the intelligentsia of the society; they are not even capable enough to earn food for themselves. They are just retarded.
To be poor is not just accidental. You need to have certain qualifications to be poor, just as you need certain qualifications to be rich. Even if you inherit riches and you don't have such qualities, then within two or three generations you will be poor. It is possible that your father had the qualities to create money; he created the money and you simply inherited, and you don't have any qualities to create money. Remember, either you create, or whatsoever you have will be gone soon. You cannot remain static; either you grow upwards or you fall downwards - you cannot remain in the same position. So you can see: the people who are rich, by the fourth generation may be poor.
And it is not necessary that a poor man remains poor. Very poor people have risen to the highest possibilities of richness. You need a certain caliber, a certain quality. To me, just as a painter is born, a poet is born, a sculptor is born, a dancer is born, so a rich man is also born. Whether he is born in a rich house or a poor house does not matter: he will be rich, he will find ways. Even in countries like India where society is so stratified that mobility is almost impossible, there are people who have been able to move.
The man who wrote India's constitution after freedom, Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a sudra, an untouchable. By his sheer effort and stubbornness he fought in every possible way and attained to the best legal qualifications possible in his time. He became one of the best legal experts in the whole world.
The Hindu society has followed a constitution written five thousand years ago by a brahmin intellectual, Manu. He was certainly one of the geniuses, so much so that his name, Manu, became almost equivalent to intelligence. Hence in India and in English also, the word man comes from Manu. The Hindi word for man is manushya; that comes from Manu. The word for mind is man; that comes from Manu. He proved to be such a great giant that his name became equivalent to intelligence, to humanity. Now, the English word human, if you derive it from the Latin simply means mud, humus. It is better to derive it from Manu, then it means intelligence; and certainly It does come from Manu.
Manu wrote the Hindu code of life, the constitution that has been followed by Hindus for five thousand years without fail, without any change. Manu would have never thought, or dreamed even, that one day the next constitution would be written by an untouchable. Manu does not allow, in his constitution, for an untouchable sudra - the lowest, the fourth class ?Of the society - he does not allow him even to read. He is prohibited from reading because there is no need for him to read or to write. His work is either to make shoes, or to clean the latrines, clean the roads,,l and things like that. They don't need great intelligence, qualifications, university degrees, and Manu had prohibited them from getting them. And even if they somehow managed to read they were absolutely prohibited from reading religious scriptures. The sentence was nothing less than the death penalty. And many untouchables have been killed because they were tryIng to understand the scriptures.
Ambedkar was a sudra, but he tried hard - he wouldn't listen to anybody. He was ready to do anything, or to die; these were the only alternatives. And he proved himself a great giant: in every class, in every examination, he was always on top. And it was impossible to refuse him entry into a further class; it was impossible to refuse him a scholarship, because others were lagging far behind, there was no way. He got all the scholarships possible.
He went to England on a scholarship, and in England he also came top in his examinations. When India became free, they could not find another person who was a better expert as far as law is concerned than Ambedkar. This is really a good slap on Manu's face, that Ambedkar wrote the constitution of India - a good hit to all the brahmins.
He was the chairman of the constituent assembly. Brahmins were only members; he was the chairman, and whatsoever he said became the law because he was a man who could not be refuted on legal grounds. That was impossible.
I was saying that even in a society like India where stratification has gone so deep that mobility is not allowed.... It is not like America or Europe where you can move from one profession to another profession without any difficulty. A fisherman can become a cloth merchant, a cloth merchant can become a university professor, a university professor can become a shoemaker, or whatsoever he wants to. There is no problem, it is up to you what you want to do.
But in India that is not so. The profession is passed down from generation to generation; you inherit it. Your father was a shoemaker, his father was a shoemaker. From the very beginning... perhaps Adam was a shoemaker. And your children will be shoemakers; there is no question about it. But even in such a society if a man has guts he can rise to any height.
Kabir was even worse than a sudra because he was abandoned by his parents, perhaps both the mother and father. He was just an illegitimate child like Jesus. Perhaps illegitimate children have a certain quality of religiousness, because Kabir is in no way inferior to Jesus; perhaps he may prove superior. He was left on the bank of the Ganges by his mother or his father - nobody knows. Nobody knows to what caste he belonged; nobody knows whether he was Hindu or Mohammedan.
But he was a man of immense courage and quality, because being an illegitimate child in India, it is very difficult even to exist. Being an illegitimate child, his caste is not known, his religion was not known. He might have been a Mohammedan, and perhaps he was a Mohammedan, because Kabir is not a Hindu name. He was found by a Hindu monk, Ramananda.
Ramananda had just gone to take his morning bath, early, when it was still dark, and he stumbled over a child. He brought the child back with him to his ashram. Many people tried to persuade him that it was not good: "we don't know the child's caste, but you are a brahmin and your disciples are brahmins; it will create unnecessary scandal and trouble for you."
He said, "That doesn't matter. This poor child, where can I leave him? If it creates any scandal it is perfectly okay. What does it matter to me? If people don't come to me, so far so good." Ramananda was a courageous man. People stopped coming to him and disciples left him because he was keeping somebody - nobody knew who he was. All kinds of rumors started going around: "Perhaps he is his own child," or "Why is he so interested that he is ready to destroy his career? He was becoming famous all over the country as one of the greatest masters; now he is spoiling all his career."
To non-religious people, religion also appears as a career. Only to a religious person is religion not a career. It is not a profession; it is your way of life, it is your very life, your very being. Careers and professions are very mundane and outside things.
Religion is your very heart.
Ramananda did not bother about what people were saying; he brought up Kabir. Kabir was not very small when he was found. He could say his name and speak a few words, but he had no knowledge of his father's name or his mother's name. He said if he saw them he would recognize them, but he did not know their name. Perhaps they were from some other place and they had left him in Varanasi hoping that some compassionate person may pick him up. And by chance Kabir found a really compassionate guide.
Ramananda, in the last stage of his life, said, " have not lost anything. A]l those disciples and scholars were not worth a single Kabir. I have lost a great following, I became condemned, but it was worth it." Kabir proved to be a real diamond; and still everybody knew he was an illegitimate child. He did not know his father or his mother, he did not know what religion he belonged to - and he did not care at all.
The maulvi is the Mohammedan priest who gives the morning call from the tower near the mosque.
Kabir says, "Is your God deaf that you have to go up a tower and from the tower you have to shout?"
And that really is the qualification necessary for a maulvi, that he can shout. In those days there were no loud speakers or things like that - one had to be a loud speaker and shout from the tower.
Kabir asks, "Is your God deaf?"
He has criticized Hindus, he has criticized Mohammedans, but still Mohammedans followed him, Hindus followed him. Strangely, because he had no religion, all the religions were open to him, anybody could follow him. But that people followed such a man certainly means that he had a great charisma.
Kabir lived his whole life in Varanasi.
Now, Varanasi, for Hindus is the most sacred place on the whole earth, and it certainly is the oldest city in the world. You cannot find a single Indian scripture, howsoever old it is, where Varanasi is not mentioned. It has always been there it seems. And if you go to Varanasi you can feel its ancientness; it is almost an eternal city.
Its roads are so small that cars cannot move, buses are out of the question; not even an auto- rickshaw can be used. They are so small that only a man-pulled rickshaw can pass through those streets. And when two man-pulled rickshaws are passing each other it is almost a miracle to see that they have not got stuck to each other.
The roads are so small and the houses so ancient. Their doors are so small because in old times doors were made small and steps were made big so thieves could not escape easily. If somebody is running away, the small door and big steps will stop him. You cannot run; you have to be very careful. The windows are small too - you cannot get out of them or inside through them.
Kabir lived his whole life in Varanasi. Hindus believe that if you die in Varanasi you will be born in heaven - just a simple panacea. All religions have to find some simple thing, because there are aesthetic practices but they will be followed only by a few idiots; anybody who has a little intelligence is not going to follow them. To those unintelligent people you have to give some recipe, very simple.
So if you just die in Varanasi, that's enough, because from Varanasi you cannot go anywhere else:
the route directly goes to heaven.
So people come to die in Varanasi. In Varanasi you will find old people, old women, widows, almost on the verge of death. You will not find that kind of; crowd anywhere else in the world. They have all come to die: they are certain now that there is not much time left, so they come to die in Varanasi.
But when he was sick and old, and was just on the verge of death, Kabir asked his disciples to move!
him from Varanasi and take him to Magahar. Magahar is a poor village, a very small village on the other side of Varanasi. I don't know how it came about, but the story is that if you die in Magahar, the road directly goes to hell. Perhaps just parallel to Varanasi you have to manage a road to hell too. And Magahar is just on the other side of Ganges; on this side is Varanasi. Kabir said, "I want to go to Magahar."
His disciples said, "Are you mad? You must be!"
He said, "I have always been mad; but I cannot die in Varanasi, because if I die in Varanasi and reach heaven then what credit is it to me? The whole credit goes to Varanasi. I am going to die in Magahar and I am going to see how they can take me to hell. I am going to die in Magahar AND I am going to heaven; otherwise I am going to create hell there."
And he insisted on moving; he forced his disciples and finally they had to take him in a boat to Magahar on the other side. He died there - the only man who ever came to die in Magahar in the whole of history. His samadhi is in Magahar, and on it is written: "I am going to heaven directly from Magahar."
You will be surprised that after he died in Magahar, the story that people who die in Magahar go directly hell disappeared, because nobody could think, could, conceive, that Kabir could go to hell.
This was his last, act of compassion towards the people of Magahar.
Those poor people, they would not have been able to change the story; but Kabir, dying in Magahar, stopped the whole trouble about Magahar. Since then nobody says that if you die in Magahar you will go to hell, because what about the samadhi of Kabir? People go to worship there every year.
There is a great fair; almost the whole of Varanasi goes to the other side to pay respect to Magahar and to Kabir. Magahar has now become a holy place just because Kabir decided to die there.
When he was in Varanasi, Kabir was asked to preside over the great council of Hindus which once in while meets to decide matters about scriptures and commentaries. He was illiterate, he had never read any scripture, but he was asked many times to preside. He said, "I don't know scriptures. I don't have any idea what is right and what is wrong, and how scriptures should be commented or not commented on; and what commentary will be in tune with tradition. "I have no idea."
They said, "You need not have. Just your presence makes us feel wise.... Just your presence, just your being there. You need not say a single word, but we know that because you are there we are not going to take any wrong decisions." This is impossible to believe, but in Varanasi it can happen.
And the man was such....
So I say it is a quality in you: if you persist in Being poor, you have a certain qualification for it. A story is told in India.... What I am saying, that you born with a qualification to be poor or rich, was the belief of a certain king. His prime minister did not agree. He said, "I don't think that it is something to do with quality. Now, a poor man's son - what can he do? He has to work from his very childhood, he cannot even play. There is no question of reading or studying; there is no time. By the time he is six years old he is already taking the cows to the jungle or to the river. Whatsoever he can do, he starts working - carrying wood.... He has no time, no space, no possibility.... No school will admit him, no brahmin will teach him."
All the teachers in India used to be brahmins; even today, almost ninety percent of teachers in India are brahmins. Traditionally that is their profession, to teach. And of course they are far more trained than anybody else because from their very childhood the atmosphere has been of teaching. Their father has been teaching, their grandfather has been teaching; it has come to them as inheritance.
They are more articulate than anybody else.
The prime minister said, "A brahmin's son, without any qualification, becomes a teacher or becomes a priest. Your son will become the king - he will not have to prove his qualifications. And," the prime minister said, "I will suggest an experiment. A beggar passes along the bridge in front of our palace"
- there was a river, and a beautiful bridge along which a beggar in the early morning would pass.
For his whole life he had been begging. And you say he could have become rich. Does he have a certain qualification to be poor and a beggar?"
The king said, "I still believe he does. Tomorrow we will see." The next day the king brought out a big jar full of golden coins, at least enough for seven generations of beggars. This beggar was the first man to pass by, so naturally it was put in the middle of the bridge: a golden jar, shining in the sun, open, with gold coins in it. No possibility was left that he would miss it; just in the middle of the bridge he was bound to see it. That was the place where he used to sit sometimes, but he always used to pass by that place; wherever he sat on the bridge, he was bound to pass that place.
The king and the prime minister and a few other friends were waiting on the other side to see what would happen. And strange to say, the beggar came onto the bridge, closed his eyes, and, walking past the golden jar without seeing it, reached the other side!
Even the king was puzzled. This was not expected. He had thought that his argument was going to be finished, that the prime minister had won. The jar was so visible, so shiny, that even a blind man would be able to find it; at least he would stumble upon it, put 1 in the place it was. But that man simply walked slowly f by with closed eyes. And because his eyes were dosed he had to hold the handrail of the bridge, so he did not even stumble upon the jar.
They all caught hold of him; he opened his eyes. They asked him, "what is the matter with your eyes? We have never seen you walking across the bridge with closed eyes."
The beggar said, "just as I was coming an idea came to me that if I become blind in my old age - because my eyes are getting old and I cannot see rightly - will I be able to pass over this bridge and get t to the other side and sit there, even if I am blind? I thought it is better to try before; otherwise I should change and live on the other side, because if I get blind.... So I closed my eyes, and I am happy that I managed to cross the bridge perfectly safely. So even if I become blind there is no problem."
The king said to the prime minister, "So what do you say now?"
The prime minister said, "Now there is nothing to say - you have won the argument. This man has the qualification."
The poor have been there always; but to exploit their poverty to increase your population is sheer politics - ugly, mean. Politics is a game of numbers. How many Christians you have in the world - that is your power. The more Christians there are, the more power is in the hands of Christian priests, the priesthood.
Nobody is interested in saving anybody, but just in increasing the population. What Christianity has been doing is continually issuing orders from the Vatican against birth control, saying it is sin to use birth control methods; it is sin to believe in abortion or to propagate abortion, or to make it legal.
Do you think they are interested in the unborn children? They are not interested, they have nothing to do with those unborn children. They pursue their interest knowing perfectly well that if abortion is not practiced, if birth control methods are not practiced, then this whole humanity is going to commit a global suicide. And it is not so far away that you cannot see the situation. Within just fifteen years the world population will be such that it will be impossible to survive. Either you will have to go into a third world war - which will be a safer method. People will die more quickly, more easily, more comfortably with nuclear weapons than with hunger, because hunger can keep you alive for ninety days, and those ninety days will be really a torture.
I know about hunger in India. Mothers have sold their children just for one rupee. Mothers have eaten their own children. You cannot conceive where hunger can lead you. And you cannot blame those people: when somebody has been hungry for thirty days and their child is continually crying and weeping and asking for miLk and food, and you cannot provide any milk, any food - you yourself are hungry and the child Is a nuisance twenty-four hours a day - what to do? A person is not in a sane state.
The mother just out of compassion may kill the child; and when she has killed it, she may see the possibility of eating it. Then at least her hunger is taken care of. It is almost impossible to believe that a mother can eat her own child, but it has been happening in countries like India and Ethiopia.
But just now, a few days ago, the Vatican has come out with a long message to humanity - one hundred and thirty-nine pages: "Abortion is sin. Birth control is sin."
Now, nowhere in the BIBLE is abortion sin. Nowhere in the BIBLE is birth control sin, because no birth control was needed. Out of ten children, nine were going to die. That was the proportion, and that was the proportion in India just thirty or forty years ago: out of ten children, only one would survive. That was perfectly okay. Then the population was not too great, not too heavy on the resources of the earth Now, even in India - not to say anything about developed countries - even in India, out of ten children, only one dies.
So on one hand medical science goes on helping people to survive and Christianity goes on opening hospitals and distributing medicines, and Mother Teresa is there to praise you and the pope is going to bless you.... There are all kinds of associations - they are even worried about Russia. There is, in America, a Christian association called "Underground Evangelism," which works in communist countries to distribute BIBLES freely and to distribute these stupid ideas that abortion is sin and birth control is sin.
Somehow Russia is not starving; they are not rich but they are not starving. Please, at least leave them alone. And it is because of birth control that they are not starving. If birth control is prohibited, if abortion is prohibited, Russia will be in the same position as Ethiopia Then Mother Teresa will be very happy. Then underground evangelists will come overground - a great opportunity to convert people to Christianity.
Now, from where does this polack pope get the idea that it is sin? - because it is not in the BIBLE, it is not in any old scriptures. Has he got a new message from God? Some amendment to the BIBLE?
Should these one hundred and thirty pages be added to the BIBLE as the fifth gospel? What does he want? And who is he to decide that birth control is sin?
The pope says once a child is conceived, if abortion happens then, that child dies. That can be under stood, but at what point can the child be counted as alive? At one week can you say he is alive, he is a human being? At two weeks, three weeks? At what point does he become a human being? You have to decide at what point the child is a human being, because in the beginning he looks just like a fish, he even has a tail - and you are eating fish and animals without any trouble!
In his last stages the child looks like a monkey. That was the reason why Charles Darwin came to the conclusion he did. He had collected all kinds of arguments; one argument, the most important one, was that in the last stages the child looks like a monkey. He even has a small tail, which falls off before his birth. And you will be surprised to know that you always have the place in your body where the tail would have been - the joining point, the point where tail would fit, is still there. The tail is not there, but the point where the tail would fit is still there.
Charles Darwin missed just one thing, he missed, coming to Oregon; otherwise he would have seen real monkeys who have not evolved, and the comparison would have been very easy. But Oregon is such a mysterious place. In my whole life I had never heard the name. Perhaps Charles Darwin also never heard the name. He left it to me to come to Oregon and see the pillar stage of humanity. It is really a place worth, studying. It should be turned into a zoo so anybody who wants to study undeveloped parts of humanity, can go around Oregon and study them. That will be a great contribution to human knowledge.
I have been seeing on television Oregonian people's anger and rage against me and my people - who have not done any harm to them, who are not at all concerned with them. And we are so far away from them that there is no question.... They are not even our neighbors, so we don't have to love those neighbors or hate those neighbors. And this Christian idea loving your neighbors is not a very good idea.
I used to live in Raipur. I lived there only for six months just through the mistake of government bureaucracy. I was to be appointed to Jabalpur but some idiot wrote Raipur instead of Jabalpur.
And I saw it happen, because I was there, in the capital. So I told the education minister, "Give the letter to me, hand to hand, and I will go immediately. Why bother about sending it by post? - I am here." I looked at the letter - Raipur? But I said, "There is no harm; for a few months let us be in Raipur. I will be absolutely useless there because the college is a Sanskrit college and I have no qualifications for that college. So I will enjoy myself as long as I am there - there is no work for me."
So I went there. The principal said, "But your qualifications are for a philosophy department, and we don't have any philosophy department. This is a Sanskrit college. There is a linguistic department, but you don't have any qualification for it."
I said, "I know. But what to do with bureaucracy? They have given me a holiday, so don't create trouble. They have sent me, and this is given to me directly by the education minister"
When I said "education minister," the principal thought it better to accept me, perhaps I was related to the education minister or something - because never before had anybody come with an order delivered directly. It is the formality that the order go through the post. It was so unusual, unprecedented, that he told me, "Can you wait in the common room, just for a few minutes, and I will call you."
I said, "But remember, I am going to remain here, otherwise I will call the education minister immediately." And I knew what he was going to do. His clerk was in his room and after five minutes he called me. The principal had phoned the education minister to say, "This order has not reached us by post. Somebody can just arrange a false, bogus order and come. Moreover he is not qualified for this college at all, so what are we to do?"
The education minister said, "First accept him, and then we will see where to send him, because I don't know what has happened. I was not aware that something had gone wrong, so we will see."
The clerk told me in the evening that the principal had phoned the education minister to confirm my post. Next day I gave that principal a good beating.
I said, "Now I have to phone him too, to tell him that you are trying to disobey his order. And you deceived me: you told me to sit there, and you phoned the education minister. He is my friend, and if anybody is to go from this college it will be you; you will have to go. I can immediately arrange for you to be transferred through the same bureaucracy who sent me here. I know the clerk who has done this - you will be transferred."
He said, "Don't create trouble. I was just checking to be sure that I am not in trouble later on. You be happily here."
I said, "No more asking from the department!"
So for six months neither the department bothered, nor the principal bothered to do anything. And I was not at all interested in making a fuss about it: it was going perfectly well. I lived in the campus in the Sanskrit college, but for almost the whole day I remained in my quarters. Once in a while sometimes I would go to the library or just chitchat with the professors and come back again. There was nothing else for me to do.
One of my neighbors was very much disturbed by my presence there. I felt it - he looked annoyed.
One day I asked him, "What is the matter? Whenever I come home you look annoyed and irritated."
He said, "I will not hide the fact from you: I am in love with my neighbor."
I said, "This is perfectly Christian, and Jesus will help you. Don't be worried about it."
He said, "You don't understand - it is my neighbor's wife."
I said, "I think we should never talk about it. When Jesus said,'Love thy neighbor as thyself,' he should have added,'but please remember, not his wife.' But to me it is perfectly good, because his wife is also a neighbor. There is no harm in it; you need not be worried about me. You can go on doing whatsoever you want to do - take it for granted that I am absent. But,"I said this day I have come to understand a new thing that Jesus forgot to mention. An amendment is needed to say that it does not mean the neighbor's wife."
That kind of amendment I can understand; but what the pope is suggesting about birth control and abortion is absolutely foolish. You cannot decide what time the child becomes a human being. And if it can be decided, it has to be decided by physiologists, medical people.
But what is wrong in birth control? - because then no conception happens. And if he says that too is wrong because you are preventing a conception from happening, then he has to also declare that each time you make love, if conception does not happen, then you are committing a sin. You follow my idea? Because whether you use birth control methods or not, every time you make love, conception does not happen. All those times that conception does not happen, remember, will be counted as sin. He is asking you why the conception did not happen. It has to happen.
His whole interest is in bringing many more children into the world, many more orphans into the world. Make it so overcrowded, so poor, that Christianity can become the universal religion. That has been their ambition for two thousand years. It has to be exposed. This ambition is inhuman; and if I have been criticizing Christianity it is not without reason The most important thing is that I am speaking within a Christian context. If I were speaking in a Hindu context, I would not be criticizing Christianity, I would be criticizing Hinduism, or in a Buddhist context I would be criticizing Buddhism. It would be useless to criticize Christianity in a Buddhist context because those people would love it.
I am a person who impresses people and creates enemies, not friends - that is not my policy. I would love the whole world to be my enemy. But all these people are so cowardly that they cannot honestly even accept that they are enemies. Every day dozens of letters are received; they are praying for me, that God should forgive me. These fools! They should pray to me that I should forgive God and them. Why should God forgive me? If there is going to be any trouble I am ready to take it.
One thing is certain: whether God forgives me or not, I am not going to forgive Him. So they should pray to me, not to God. They don't understand what they are saying. They go on writing letters, "We pray to God that He should forgive you for what you are saying."
There is no God.
I am speaking against nobody.
That s why I am enjoying it, because if there was a God do you think I would enjoy it? It would be trouble It is sheer enjoyment - no trouble at all.