Countdown to catastrophe: global suicide, or sannyas
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR THE AUTHENTIC RELIGION TO BE BORN?
I do not think. Thinking has fallen away a long time ago. Chronologically the distance is not much, only three decades, but metaphysically the distance is as big as possible. If I look backwards it is so distant - millions of years. Perhaps the reason why I feel so much distance is in the very nature of the gap between thinking and the state of no-thinking. The gap is unbridgeable.
I am reminded of one thing at this point. The day I died as a person, as an ego, and the explosion happened, and only a presence was left with no ego functioning at the center of it, just pure space, I became aware, only the next morning, of a very strange thing. The next morning when I went to the bathroom, I saw in the mirror - I was only twenty-one years old - that the hairs on my chest had become white. Something on me had become suddenly ancient.
I looked in the mirror, into my own eyes, and I could see those were not the eyes that I used to have, because thoughts had disappeared, my eyes were utterly vacant... something like a bottomless abyss. I am only fifty-four but it seems I am almost ancient. Deep inside I feel just like a child, just born, as fresh as the dewdrops in the early morning sun. But in the body I feel as if I have lived many lives together in one life.
I do not think - there is no need for me to think.
Either I know something or I don't.
Thinking is a state in between the two:
You don't know and you are trying to know.
That's what thinking is all about. It is a groping in darkness for something; you are not exactly aware of what it is. Neither are you aware why you are groping for it, nor are you aware what you are going to do when you find it.
This is an experience of thousands of people: they work hard, think hard, try hard to find something, to figure out something, and finally, unfortunately, they succeed. I say unfortunately because it would have been fortunate if they had not succeeded. Then the effort, the excitement of finding, of the search, of the groping would have continued. They would have felt that they had a certain meaning in their life: They are thinkers, seekers, searchers. That's why I say unfortunately, once in a while, a few people succeed in finding, because then they are in the same position as when a dog starts barking at your car and runs after you, chases you.
It is difficult for the poor dog. Even if the dog is a watchdog of Oregon, it makes no difference; dogs are after all, dogs. You can give them fancy names, "watchdogs," you can let them make a political party, "1000 Friends of Oregon" - that does not make any difference to their doggishness: dogs chase cars.
I have seen it many times - my car being chased. Not here, because in Rajneeshpuram we don't have dogs, we have only human beings; we are finished with dogs, watchdogs, all kinds of dogs.
But when I was a professor in the university I had to drive to the university and back home, and once in a while a dog would start chasing the car. I was puzzled. What was he going to get even if he caught the car? What was he going to do? Once in a while I would stop the car just to look at the dog, and I have seen a dog in such an embarrassed condition: he would be standing by the side of the car not knowing what to do now.
This happens to people who are thinkers, philosophers, seekers: they are seeking truth but they don't know what truth means. They have no idea what they are seeking, and why they are seeking.
And if by chance they stumble upon truth, how are they going to recognize it? They have never seen it before; recognition is impossible.
I have met many people in India who thought that they had seen God, and they were worshipped like great saints, sages, seers - they have seen God! I have asked these people, "I don't bother about God at all, my simple question is, "How did you recognize that He was God? I don't doubt that you have seen God, you must have seen Him. I never suspect anybody's intentions - I take it for granted that you have seen God. My question is not with your seeing my question is how did you recognize that this was God? - because you had not seen Him before."
And they were just in the same position as the dog standing by the side of my car, embarrassed, just looking at me with great anger - why had I stopped? - because I had destroyed all his joy of chasing, of reaching somewhere, of finding something. These sages looked at me with the same anger.
I said, "There is no need to be angry. I am asking a simple question. I am not doubting your experience, I am not saying anything against God; I am simply saying that the word recognition cannot be applied. Recognition means cognizing again: you have seen something before, now you are seeing it again; only then can you recognize. Otherwise, you can see that you had an experience, but what it was you cannot give a name, a label. Perhaps you may describe what happened to you in the experience, but you cannot say that you have seen God."
Thinking is a process between not knowing and an effort to know.
I do not think - I know it.
And why do I know it, that this is the ripe time for the birth of an authentic religion? That I can explain to you. You will have to go with me a little deeply into the roots of the religious phenomenon itself Religion only has any validity because of death.
If there were no death, nobody would have bothered about religion at all. It is not life that inspires you to be religious, no - it is death. Death makes you search for something which will be alive in spite of death.
Just think of a world where death does not exist, where nobody dies. The question, "What happens after death?" will be meaningless, the question of heaven and hell will be meaningless. And when you are eternal, what God can be more than you? Now He is eternal life, and you are a momentary phenomenon, a soap bubble; within a moment you will be gone - hence the fear. And the fear creates the search. You want to know what this death is, and you want to know whether something remains after it or not. Those who say that nothing remains after it are not religious. They don't go to any temple, they don't go to any church, they don't have any holy scripture.
In India there existed a great movement, the Charvakas. That was the movement of atheists.
Nothing parallel to it has happened anywhere in the world. Yes, there have been individual atheists like Epicurus, Diderot, Karl Marx, Lenin; but these are individual atheists. The Charvakas were a movement and the name of the man who founded the movement is Acharya Brihaspati.
India is, in many ways, rare. Even though Brihaspati founded the movement for atheism, still he is respected as a great acharya, a great Master, even by those whom he was destroying at their very roots. This you cannot find happening anywhere else. India has a great respect for all kinds of seekers - even if a seeker says that there is nothing to seek; and that's what the Charvakas were all about, the whole movement.
Brihaspati said, "There is nothing more than this life; eat, drink, and be merry. All religions are invented by the greedy priests to exploit you in the name of God, in the name of an afterlife." And he describes the priests the best way they can be described. He describes them as dogs with hanging tongues, ready, wagging their tails, asking for food.
That's why I say India is a rare country: even Brihaspati is accepted as an acharya. Whatsoever he says is debated, confuted, argued about, but that does not mean disrespect to the person. Of course he is a founder of a movement, and what he is saying needs to be argued about - but you need not kill him, or crucify him. He is challenging you: "All your religion is bogus; it is just because of the fear of death. And nobody has returned after death to say that he is still alive, so you don't have any evidence at all. Death simply annihilates everything."
Karl Marx said, after five thousand years, what the Charvakas had been saying in India for that long a time. Of course Marx uses a more scientific terminology. He says, "Man's consciousness is an epiphenomenon - it is not a reality but only a by-product."
Marx says that it is just like when a clock moves and has a certain life because it moves, but you know that there is no soul in it; you know that its movement is mechanical. It is arranged in such a way that it can be automatic, that while one part is unwinding, the other part is winding. So when one part is unwound, the other part is ready to run the clock because it is wound. And the same goes on: those two parts, one unwinding, the other winding. The whole function is just a mechanical phenomenon. That's why he calls it an epiphenomenon: not a true phenomenon but only a by-product.
So it is with man's consciousness, Marx says. It is just a combination of certain physical mechanisms, chemical combinations; and out of this whole bio-mechanical system, man speaks, man thinks, man tries to be somebody - even starts looking for truth, for God. But all these are just by-products.
Once you take all the chemicals out of man - and this is scientifically proved, that a man can be changed into a woman just by a change of hormones. Strange! If the man can be changed into a woman just by injecting hormones, then his manhood was nothing but hormonal. If a woman can become a man just by changing her hormones, her womanhood was nothing special; it was hormonal, a chemical by-product.
There are hormones which can be taken out of you and then you cannot be angry. Then saying, Don't be angry, drop your anger.... And for centuries and centuries man has been preached to from every pulpit, from every religious preacher: "You have to drop anger." But how can a man drop anger? - those chemicals are there. First you have to take those chemicals out.
That's what Marx is saying. Just take those chemicals out and then tell the man to be angry - and he cannot be angry. Just take all his sexual chemistry out of him and then tell him to be sexual; it will be as difficult for him to be sexual as it is now for him to be celibate. And just by sermonizing you are not going to change his chemistry, because your sermons have nothing to do with chemistry.
His chemistry remains his chemistry, his physiology remains his physiology: your sermon just goes into his memory system. That is a computer, that collects things, that's all.
Do you think a computer can be a celibate or a playboy? A computer can be neither. But you can program the computer for celibacy, feed it all great teachings about celibacy, and the computer will be able to repeat them. You can feed the computer all great romantic ideas, great love affairs, and the computer will be able to repeat them. But the computer cannot become a Romeo or Majnu.
Perhaps one day it may be possible that you make a feminine computer. That means you feed the computer the information that "you are a woman, a very beautiful woman," and you feed another computer the information that "you are a man, a very great man; all the women around are mad after you."
Perhaps, if you can manage to feed two computers in this way, they may fall in love. But you will know that this is all nonsense. The one computer will repeat what you have told it - the woman, very shy, saying no and meaning yes. The other computer may repeat great dialogues like the great lovers of history - the great Majnu, Romeo, Farhad or Mahival; these are the great lovers of history.
You may not even prompt the computer; once you have fed in the information, he will repeat the dialogue. And this is exactly what your mind goes on doing, there is no difference.
It is a very strange discovery, that the mind functions absolutely as a computer. And they have experimented with the mind by touching certain centers with electrodes. And strangely enough as you touch a certain spot the man starts saying certain things. You take the electrode off, the man stops. You put the electrode back and the man starts from the very beginning again - the same! He is just like a gramophone record.
And the unwinding process seems to be automatic: the moment you take the electrode off, it unwinds, it goes back; it goes back to the beginning. You put on the electrode: strange, the man starts speaking. It is beyond his control, he cannot stop himself He will say the whole thing, unless you remove the electrode. Once you remove it, he simply closes his mouth, but within a second his mind is back into its old position, ready to repeat it again - a thousand times! The man will repeat the same dialogue; you just have to touch the same point.
So all your sermons go in this computer. They don't touch your physiology, they don't touch your chemistry. Hence Marx says, "Consciousness is just a by-product." Brihaspati uses a language that was available to him five thousand years ago, but means exactly the same as Marx.
In India people are in the habit of chewing pan - a certain leaf with a few things put into it. And when they chew it the mixture of all those things makes their lips red. It seems to be an out-of-date method of lipstick, but it is more than lipstick. Lipstick tastes terrible, but lovers have to pass through so many fire tests! They have to taste somebody's lipstick too - and not only taste it, they have to enjoy it. But in love and in hate everything is justified.
Pan leaves are far better, they really taste good. And pan is used after food in India, so it takes away any food taste left in your mouth. It cleanses your mouth, and keeps your mouth fragrant. Brihaspati takes the example of the pan leaf. He says, "Neither the pan leaf nor any of the ingredients that are put into it is red. But the combination, when you chew it, creates the color red. This red color has no existence of its own, it is a by-product."
Naturally, five thousand years ago, when there was no computer, no other mechanism, he had found a good example. Put all those four, five things separate, and nothing is red, no constituent in itself is red. Then from where does redness come? Does it descend from heaven? No, it is just a by- product; from the combination of those four, five things, redness comes as a by-product. If you remove those five things, you can't expect that the redness will remain behind; no, it will disappear.
So when a man dies, everything subsides; there is no soul left.
Brihaspati must have been a man of guts. None of his books have survived; perhaps they have been destroyed, burned. All that has survived is the criticism in the books of other people who are criticizing Brihaspati. Of course, to criticize him they have to quote him.
Their quotations are not very reliable, because - and this is a more or less universal phenomenon - critics first try to distort the teaching which they are going to criticize. Then it becomes easy to criticize because they have already managed the quotation in such a way - taken it out of reference, out of context, changed a few words here and there - that it becomes more vulnerable to their criticism. But still something of it must be from the original man. And I can detect almost precisely what has been added and what is exactly Brihaspati's own saying, because I am also the same type of man.
If Brihaspati meets with me, he may not be able to agree and go all the way with me, but I will agree and go all the way with him. I will go a little further. He stops, but the point where he stops is on my path. I can go with him the whole way, his way; of course he is going to stop at a certain point. I will agree with him totally, but he cannot agree totally with me, he will agree partially. Hence I am in a better position to appreciate and to conceive what this man was saying - because I have followed the same route.
The critics quote him as stating "Rinam kritva ghritam pivet": "Even if you have to borrow money, borrow it, but drink ghee." Ghee is refined butter. Only in India do they have refined butter; otherwise the whole world is making do with butter. But Indians have reached a higher stage than butter, that is ghee. You cannot go higher than ghee, ghee is the ultimate, nothing can go beyond it. That shows India's tendency: they will go to the very end. The people who have starved only on bread and butter don't have the tendency to go to the very completion of a thing. Butter is just half way there, it is not the last stage; ghee is the last stage.
And in India ghee is loved immensely because India is a vegetarian country. All delicious food is invented by vegetarians. Non-vegetarians don't invent delicious food for the simple reason that what they are eating is delicious enough. But a vegetarian cannot just go on eating vegetables, boiled vegetables. Only once in a while someone - a man like me - can manage it, but a whole country cannot.
I can manage it because when I am eating in the evening I don't remember about the morning; I have forgotten all about it. I go on eating the same thing for many years, morning and evening. Vivek gets tired, fed up, angry. She is not even eating it, but just serving me every day, twice, the same thing.... I can understand her trouble. You don't know the difficulties of living with an enlightened man. It is terrible! Just think: for ten years she has been giving me the same food.
And I can see she is tired, bored: the same food...! But you can ask her, she has never seen me bored or tired - I am excited every meal. Sometimes I think I must be mad; there is nothing to be excited about - she will be bringing the same things again!
And my physician, Devaraj - you can't find a more miserly physician in the whole world! He goes on measuring everything. He won't even let me have one pound weight more or less, no. He keeps a record of how much ghee.... A little more ghee means half a pound per week my weight will increase: he will not allow it. And I am not allowed in the kitchen anyway - he manages it. And he goes on analyzing every vegetable, every food: how much vitamin, and how much....
I used to weigh one hundred and ninety pounds: just because of his great work, now I am only one hundred and twenty-seven pounds. Just the other day my mother was saying, "One hundred and twenty-seven pounds? You used to weigh that much when you were a child!"
I said, "But what to do? I am absolutely helpless about it." My cook won't listen to me, she listens to Devaraj; Vivek won't listen to me, she listens to Devaraj. I am simply nobody! I have just to finish the final act. They do everything, I have just to do the final act. But I am still excited.
In India they have invented thousands of kinds of delicacies, but all the delicacies are deeply fried in ghee. In certain areas of India, for example, in Rajasthan.... When I used to go to Rajasthan it was a problem, because in Rajasthan they pour ghee on everything. First they deeply fry everything, then they come with ghee and they pour ghee on top of everything. Unless the whole Indian tali, the plate - it is four times bigger than your plates - unless the whole tali is full of ghee and things are floating, they have not served the guest well.
Whenever I was invited to Rajasthan I used to write to them, "I can come, but please don't treat me like a guest; I cannot digest that much ghee. So unless you promise me that my tali will remain dry, and things will not be floating in ghee, I am not coming." And in India the tradition is that whatsoever is given to you in your tali, you have to eat it all, you have to finish it, you are not supposed to leave it. Leaving anything is unmannerly; it means you did not like the food.
So what to do with all that ghee? In Rajasthan they simply drink it! Only in Rajasthan could I understand this Charvaka, this Acharya Brihaspati, and why he said, "Rinam kritva ghritam pivet."
Ghritam means "ghee"; rinam kritva means "borrow money"; ghritam pivet means "and drink ghee."
Before I went to Rajasthan I never thought that anybody could drink ghee, but in Rajasthan that's how they do it. In the morning they will bring milk, and they pour ghee into the milk. I said, "Are you mad or something? - because the milk already has butter, already has ghee in it, and you are pouring more ghee on top of it.
So when Brihaspati says it, he actually means it. And in Rajasthan, which is a desert, perhaps people can absorb that much ghee. It is so hot, and ghee brings an inner cooling to the body. The Vitamin A gives you a certain protection against heat, and ghee is pure Vitamin A. The cooler the place, the less you can absorb ghee; the hotter the place, the more you can absorb ghee - and India is a hot country. So I can imagine that he was right.
And the next question you will ask, you are bound to ask, is, If you are continuously borrowing, how are you going to pay it back? And Brihaspati says, "Don't be worried about paying it back, you need not pay. There are so many people: you need not borrow from one person again and again, just go on finding other people. And it is a small life: once dead, nobody will be asking you to repay them.
There is nobody left, neither you nor the person who had lent the money to you; all is finished. So whether you do good deeds or bad deeds does not matter. All that matters is: doing bad deeds, don't get caught! Stealing is not bad, being caught is bad."
Brihaspati is absolutely logical: if there is nothing after death, then whether you were a saint or a sinner, what does it matter? Both will end in the same dust "dust unto dust" - and you will not be able to make any distinction between the dust of a saint and the dust of a sinner. It is said of Brihaspati that he used to take his disciples to the Indian parallel of a cemetery, the place where funerals take place. Saints are burned there, sinners are burned there, murderers are burned there. He would take his disciples and ask them, "Can you make any distinction? So many piles of ashes are there - which one belongs to a saint and which one belongs to a sinner?" Dust is simply dust.
I used to have a friend who was a real follower of Acharya Brihaspati - not knowingly. He was not aware, he had not even heard the name of Brihaspati I told him, "You are really a follower of Acharya Brihaspati.
He said, "Who is this?"
I said, "You don't be worried about it, that is not your business, but the way you are living is exactly as he has prescribed."
This man was well educated. He had a Ph.D. from Delhi university and could have been on any good post; he had all the qualifications. He had a beautiful personality, very impressive. He needed that impressive personality, some charisma around him, because he lived by borrowing. He would go on moving from one place to another place because he said, "The world is so large, and there are millions of people hoarding money unnecessarily. If I can manage to unburden them a little bit, I don't think that I am committing any sin."
And he was capable of persuading people to give him money. He was a good card player, really the best I have seen. He was a good chess player, a very good hand reader, a palmist; he had accumulated enough astrological knowledge to befool anybody. All these things helped him to find friends anywhere. If he was in the train, just sitting by your side, within five minutes you would be giving money to him. Within five minutes, his just sitting by your side was enough. He would look at your hand and say, "My God! You are still not married?" You would be immediately impressed, and you would say, "Do you know how to read palms?"
He would say, "That's all I know," and would start saying things about your past life, and about your future, and soon you were impressed by him, his personality. He had long hair and a beautiful beard; he looked like jesus Christ, he was a tall man, very educated, and could talk in many languages because he was traveling all over India. He knew Bengali, he knew Gujarati, he knew Hindi, he knew English, he knew Urdu. He was able to persuade many kinds of people within minutes; and if you started talking to him, you were finished, your pockets would soon be empty.
And he had so many friends; anybody would like to be his friend, he was such a charming person.
He used, once in a while, to stay with me, although he could never manage to borrow money from me because I had no money at all. In fact what used to happen - I used to borrow money from him.
He would say, "This is too much, that's why I don't come to you so often. But once in a while I start missing you. Just going on cheating the fools, I start missing you - the one person I cannot cheat.
"But I come only to you when I have enough money because I know you don't have any money. You will take me to a hotel and order everything and then the bill will come, and you will say, 'Daya'" - his name was Daya - "'pay the bill!' So when I have enough money, then I gather courage to come to you. And I cannot influence you because you know all my tricks, and all the things that I manage to predict about people."
But I said, "How long are you going to do this?"
He said, "How long am I going to live? Forty years I have lived; at the most I will live forty more. If I could manage for half my life, it is simple logic, simple arithmetic that I am going to manage the other half even better, because every day I am becoming more and more experienced about more and more people, and I am gaining friends everywhere."
And certainly if he had played chess with somebody and you saw him, then you would like to play chess with him, even if you knew that he was going to borrow money. In the middle of the game, when no chess player wants to stop - even if the house is on fire, no real chess player wants to stop in the middle - in the middle he would say, "Ten rupees? - because I am in immense need; otherwise, I cannot play the game." And you had to give it to him because you had to finish the game, the game was coming to such a beautiful turn.
He would always ask at the point when you were going to win. You had just managed for hours, and at the moment when you were taking the critical step he would say, "Wait! I need ten rupees first." If you had played cards with him, you would never find such a good player, so intelligent.
So he said to me, "I am going to manage." I saw him last in'69. I was in Calcutta and he was there just by accident. I was getting out of the train, and people had come to receive me. I have traveled all over India, and in every place the people who received me with great love and respect used to come with garlands of flowers, roses, mogra, chameli - all beautiful and fragrant flowers. But strangely, only in Calcutta were they always coming with the most fragrant flower, nargis. It is not a beautiful flower, but it is so fragrant.
I have never smelt anything so strong - just one flower and the whole room would be vibrant with its fragrance. It is not beautiful, so poets have not paid much attention to it. It is a simple white flower, very homely - looking, nothing exotic, nothing - what do you call it? - fantastic. One of the great Urdu poets, Mirza Ghalib, has said about the nargis, with great compassion, that "The nargis cries and weeps for centuries for its ugliness. Only then, once in a while, somebody of intelligence comes and recognizes its beauty."
But certainly in Calcutta - I have been to Calcutta hundreds of times - they were always coming with nargis garlands. Just one garland is enough for the whole house, and they would come with dozens of garlands and just go on putting them on - I would be covered up to my eyes.
At that time, Daya was going to catch the train I was getting out of He saw me and just told his porter, "Now I am not going." He came to me and said, "i am coming with you. So many garlands.... You may not have any money but the people who are with you do."
I said, "But you have got a ticket and you were just getting...."
And he said, "Forget all about the ticket. I cannot leave these people."
And it was true, those were all the richest people of Bengal, particularly Calcutta. I tried to persuade him, but he said no. So I had to introduce him, knowing perfectly well that he would cheat everybody.
I received a letter from him in 1975 saying, "The group you gave me in Calcutta is the best in the whole country. Mostly now I live in Calcutta, changing from one person to another."
And Calcutta is so big that when you move from one person to another, it is a rare possibility that you may accidentally meet again. It is too big a place, the biggest city in the whole world. So just to thank me, after six years he wrote the letter: "Calcutta seems to be just a treasure. And now you need not be worried about my future. For these few years that are left - who knows, twenty, twenty-five, or maybe not even that much - Calcutta alone will do."
Eat, drink and be merry: this is what Acharya Brihaspati had said to his followers. He created a great movement. He was not religious, you can't find anybody more anti-religious than him; but this is what I respect about India, that they accepted him as an acharya. Acharya means a master. Certainly he was a master, and to create a movement and to gather followers for such a rotten philosophy, one needs a really great, sharp intelligence.
I can agree with him, but he is only the Zorba. For the other part, Zorba the Buddha... he will stop at Zorba, he cannot go the remaining part with me. That's why I said I can understand him perfectly well, better than he can understand himself, because I have a better perspective, and a bigger perspective. I can understand Buddha, which he cannot understand. I can understand the Zorba, Brihaspati, which Buddha cannot understand. But this is nothing to do with thinking; it is my seeing. If you think, then Zorba the Buddha is a contradiction. In thinking you cannot manage to put them together.
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country. The ambassador of Sri Lanka in America wrote a letter to me: "I appeal to you not to name your hotels 'Zorba the Buddha.' It hurts our religious feelings."
I told Sheela to write to him: "It hurts the followers of Zorba too, because this is a great insult to the followers of Zorba. He was against the Buddha. What am I supposed to do? - because I am both, Zorba and the Buddha. And my hotels or restaurants or discos have nothing to do with you and your Buddha. Can't you see 'ZORBA the Buddha?' Is that the name of your Buddha? Your Buddha's name is Gautam the Buddha. This is a totally different Buddha." I told Sheela to explain, "This is our Buddha, who is first Zorba, and then Buddha: both together. Neither you have to be disturbed nor does any atheist have to be disturbed."
Atheists have been disturbed. In India, the son-in-law of Amrit Dange - the Indian communist party's president - has written a thesis against me because I am confusing people's minds. It is difficult to figure out whether I am atheist or theist, whether I am a religious man or an anti-religious man.
Through the whole of his thesis he tries to figure who I am - and finds that it is impossible, and that I am simply a confuser.
Amrit Dange, the president of the Indian communist party and one of the oldest communists in the world, was part of the international communist party at the time of the Russian revolution, he was one of the members along with Lenin and Trotsky. Just by chance we were in the same compartment, traveling.
He said to me, "Have you seen? - my son-in-law has written a book about you. For three years he has been studying you. You have created so much literature that it is going to be impossible to do research on you. He was going mad, day and night. And you seem to be impossible: it is not only that you contradict yourself one time, you contradict again, and you contradict again. Finally it became impossible to find what you mean, because.... And that's the conclusion that he reached."
I said, "You throw the book out of the train. He is a fool, tell him. Why did he waste three years? Life is so short and you are a communist: Rinam kritva ghritam pivet - borrow ghee, drink ghee. Why waste time with a madman like me?" - and I took the book from his hand and threw it out of the window.
He said, "This is too much!"
I said, "You can pull the emergency cord. What purpose has the red cord always hanging there?
Pull the cord." But by that time we were miles away from the book, and it was midnight.
Amrit Dange said, "There is no point in pulling the cord - and even if I pull the cord, we have come miles, and it is midnight - where are we going to find the book? And there is no need to be worried:
my son-in-law has all the books. They are not being sold because people say that either...." There was a clear-cut division in India - either somebody was for me, or somebody was against me. Those who were for me were reading my books; they wouldn't waste their time with his thesis. And those who were against me did not want even to hear my name - what to say about the book.
So he said, "We have all the books. Perhaps you are right; he is a fool. Three years he has wasted, and he has published it with his own money. No publisher was ready to publish it,'Because,' they said,'the country is clearly divided; there are no neutral people available, so who is going to purchase the book?' He published it with his own money and now he is sitting on the whole lot."
I said, "You can go on distributing this way, the way you distributed it to me. Distribute it. Let people read it even if they cannot get any substance out of it - because he has not been able in three years to find out what I mean. Nobody is going to find out, because I am not stating logical, philosophical maxims. I am a whole presence. I can absorb Zorba without any difficulty, and I can absorb Buddha without any difficulty."
In fact, to me, unless both are absorbed with the same joy, with the same respect, you cannot be truly religious. And that's what I mean by authentic religion.
Authentic religion will not be theistic or atheistic.
Authentic religion will not be materialistic or spiritualistic.
Authentic religion will be wholistic. It will not divide life into compartments, it will destroy all the compartments of sinners and saints, heaven and hell.
Again I remember Mirza Ghalib. He is really a very insightful poet. In one of his songs he says to God, "Will it not be good if we can withdraw the fence between hell and heaven.... Just a little more space for a morning walk: what is the harm?" Now this man I say is insightful. He is saying to God, "Just withdraw this fence, it looks ugly. And what is wrong with just a little more space for a morning walk? Let heaven and hell meet."
But religious people would not like heaven and hell to meet. They would not like Zorba and Buddha to meet, because if Zorba and Buddha meet then all the religions disappear. And that is my meaning of the authentic religion.
All the religions up to now I call pseudo.
They only appear to be religious, but they are not religious because they don't have courage enough to be whole, they are only a part. But what will you do with the other part, which is intrinsic to you?
And I say it is not my thought - I feel it, see it, know it. It is exactly like when a woman is pregnant - she knows. It is not a thinking that she is pregnant: she can feel the movement of the child in her womb, she can feel another life growing within her.
To you I say religion is going to take birth, but to me it is totally different.
I am pregnant with the authentic religion.
Yes, let me repeat: I am pregnant with the authentic religion.
I can see its movement within me, around me, in those who are close to me. They have become almost part of me, because I am not a person, I am a presence.
The presence can surround you like a fragrance.
You are drowned in it without knowing.
My sannyasins are drowned in me.
They are dyed in my color, my fragrance.
To me the religion is already moving, kicking.
And why do I say that this is the right time? Just go back a little. I told you it is death that created the pseudo-religions; the fear of death created the pseudo-religions. Now, for the first time, the world is coming close to a global death; hence I say that this is the ripe time for an authentic religion to be born.
Up to now it was only an individual death; the society continued, the world continued. Yes, people came and went away - old people disappearing, young children coming up - but the continuity was there, life was always there. Yes, individual life has been a problem, but only the individual was concerned about it.
The priest was capable of exploiting the individual very easily. He is so weak and so small, so limited, and he knows that he is going to die - he has to seek the priest's help to find something to cling to which is undying, eternal, which will take him beyond death. And the priest has been promising that. But it was never a problem that the whole society was confronted with.
Today, now, the whole of humanity is confronted with the problem. Such a crisis has never happened before; hence pseudo-religions, pygmy religions, were enough. Small doses were needed for individuals. For the first time we are close to the death of the whole of humanity - not only the whole of humanity but the whole of life as such. Death encountering life in its totality makes the time right for a total religion to be born.
Sheela brought a news cutting a few days ago. It was a declaration from the American government that "even if the Soviet Union is capable of destroying all our atomic reservoirs, nuclear reservoirs, all our bases on the land - just for argument's sake - even if the Soviet Union is capable of destroying all our nuclear ability on the land, sea and air, we will still have our submarines which are hidden, twenty-four submarines. Each submarine is loaded with nuclear weapons and missiles. Each submarine can send one missile towards the Soviet Union every thirty seconds, and has enough stock for twenty-four hours."
Just visualize the destructive force: every thirty seconds one nuclear weapon will move towards the Soviet Union, and for twenty-four hours continually nuclear weapons will be simply showering on the Soviet Union. In fact, one submarine has enough nuclear weapons to destroy every large and medium-sized Soviet city. If all land bases, ships and the air force are destroyed - which is only for argument's sake, because to destroy all these bases is not simple; the question is only of ten minutes. Whoever attacks first has only ten minutes left; within ten minutes the other will be ready to counterattack.
In ten minutes neither America can destroy all the Soviet Union's nuclear bases which are hidden and underground and not known to the public.... Perhaps the places that are known are bogus.
When you find a notice declaring, "Entry is closed for army reasons," those boards may be just bogus, to deceive the enemy, to deceive his agents; the real places will not have boards. So neither the Soviet Union has the capacity to destroy all the American bases within ten minutes, nor does America have the capacity to destroy all Soviet bases in that time. And how much have the Soviet and American bases accumulated, apart from the submarines which have now for the first time been declared?
Both countries have so much nuclear power that it can destroy the earth seven hundred times.
Never before has humanity faced death on such a great scale. Nothing can be greater than that; now you cannot increase this destructive power any more. You are already sitting on a volcano which can destroy humanity within minutes. Hence, I say this is the right time and right reason.
If man wants life to continue, then Hinduism will not be of any help because it was not created for such a crisis; nor will Christianity be of any help, nor will Mohammedanism be of any help - swords are no longer of any use - nor will Buddhism be of any use. Sermons will not do, austerities will not help, fasting is not going to change the situation. Something absolutely new is needed because the situation is absolutely new.
Hence I say this is the right time for the birth of an authentic religion.
This will be just religiousness.
And it has to be wholistic: so comprehensive that it can contain all and every possibility, so comprehensive that no human being is rejected from it, so comprehensive that saints and sinners can sit side by side without any barrier.
In jainism they have a story that when Mahavira used to move around, his influence was such that lions and cows would drink together in a river or in a pond. That seems to be just a lie, a fiction. But what are they saying? They are saying that when a man of nonviolence like Mahavira is present, then violence disappears, even from animals. The lion who would immediately grab hold of the cow is drinking water and the cow is drinking water with the lion, unafraidthere is no problem because Mahavira is there, nearby. His influence is enough to make the lion non-violent, to make the cow brave enough to stand with the lion.
But Mahavira's own son-in-law betrayed him. He was Mahavira's disciple too, but he wanted Mahavira to make him his successor. Naturally he would have thought that as he is Mahavira's son-in-law.... And Mahavira had only one daughter, no son, no other daughter. Naturally - he was almost his son - he should inherit whatever Mahavira has: if not the kingdom, then all his influence and followers. And it was not less than a kingdom, it was bigger than a kingdom, because many kings were his followers, many kingdoms were just at his feet.
The son-in-law was just harassing him continually, "You declare me your successor." Finally Mahavira said, "It is not possible. I am not going to declare anybody my successor because I am the last tirthankara now for the whole of this creation. Only in the next creation - when the whole universe is destroyed and again a new universe starts - will there be another tirthankara, and for that, somebody has already earned enough virtue." That was his chief disciple, Gautam Ganadhar.
That is the Jainas' mythology, that the last tirthankara's chief disciple will be the first tirthankara in the next cycle of existence. That's how they connect: each cycle remains connected with the past twenty-four tirthankaras through that one chain. Mahavira said, "It is already declared: he is my chief disciple and he is going to be the first tirthankara - and that too will be millions of years later. I cannot declare you my successor"
Mahavira's son-in-law went against him, he betrayed him. He took five hundred disciples of Mahavira with him. Lions are losing their violence, cows are losing their cowardliness - and Mahavira's own son-in-law has not dropped ambition, jealousy, competition, the whole power number! And he not only left, he had enough influence that five hundred other disciples went with him; he had a clique.
Now seeing this situation, I cannot think that cows and lions were drinking water together, unless they were trained circus lions and cows; then it is a different matter. Prepared for the same occasion, for an exhibition - that is another matter. Or perhaps it was only a lion's skin and inside there was a man. That happens once in a while. Hunters use that method.
I have heard... two hunters were doing it. One hunter was sitting on top of a tree from where he would shoot the lion. A cow had to be underneath the tree, tied to the tree, so she could not escape; then the lion would attack the cow, and the lion could be shot from the top of the tree. But they had not been able to find a cow. Because they could not find a cow, they tried this old method. They had the whole skin of a cow, so one man dressed himself in the skin and stood there. There was no need to tie him because he was a hunter, but he said, "Be aware, don't let the lion attack me. If he attacks, then even if you kill him I am gone."
The other hunter said, "Don't be worried," and he kept his eyes on the lion... because a lion was there, far away, watching the cow. So he was pointing his gun towards the lion - and meanwhile, what happened? A bull came by and that created a whole nuisance, because he started making love to the cow! The man jumped out of the skin and said, "To hell with your lion and your hunting.
We had never thought of this possibility. Now shoot this bull!" So perhaps for some show purposes...
otherwise, I don't think that Jaina story about Mahavira and the lions and cows drinking together was true.
So no old religion is capable of facing the challenge that is coming closer every day.
The second news was about the man in charge of arms control talks, from the American side. He is a topmost boss, a mediator between the Soviet Union and America to bring some kind of dialogue and some solution. Some journalists asked that man's small son, showing him the map of the world, "Can you recognize the countries? - because your father is continually moving from this country to that country."
He said, "I can recognize them" - and he recognized every country except the Soviet Union.
The journalist asked, "Why have you left out that country? - it is so big."
The boy said, "My father said that only bad guys live in that country."
So the journalists approached the man and asked him what he thought. He said, "There is no possibility, there is no hope of any dialogue. Those people are simply continually Lying. You cannot have a nice conversation with the Soviet leaders."
Now, if your mediators have such ideas, that it is impossible, hopeless, and that those people are all Lying... as if these people are all telling the truth! Nobody is telling the truth; neither they are telling the truth, nor are you telling the truth. Both are Lying, and both know it. But such is the stupidity of man And this man is in charge of mediation, and a similar kind of man must be there, in the Soviet Union, in charge of mediation.
This man is teaching his son that "Only bad guys live in that whole country, you should not even think about that country" - what was the purpose of it? It simply shows the man's mind.
These politicians cannot solve the problem. And religions don't have methods, strategies, because they were invented long ago - they were not prepared for this crisis.
A totally new vision... and the time is absolutely ripe. In fact, it is already late, because time is running fast, and these fools are accumulating more and more nuclear weapons, piling them up.
And war is pointless, absolutely pointless. By the end of this century either we prevail over the earth, or... there is nobody else to prevail.
Either Zorba the Buddha takes over, and the Mohammedans, the Christians, the Hindus, forget all their nonsense and start being more human, not superhuman.... Either they forget about hell and heaven and start thinking about this earth or this earth is going to be destroyed. And before anything goes wrong we need thousands of intelligent people around the earth who are capable of being simply religious: without following a dogma, without being part of any nation, without having any membership in any congregation - just purely human, natural, ordinary.
If we can release intelligence - and we will have to release it because this is not the time for ifs and buts; it is a question of the survival of the whole of humanity. All its creativity, thousands of years of evolution, are going to be finished by a few foolish politicians?
Is nobody going to create a conscious energy?
That's what an authentic religion is:
A conscious force around the world, against all kinds of stupidities - of religion, of race, of blood, of color, of caste, of nation. All are stupidities.
The time has come when the earth should be one.
That's the only way to save it from destruction.
There is no need for negotiation between the Soviet Union and America. There should be no Soviet Union and no America! What is the need? Each city should be a self-sufficient unit in itself Only once, and only for a short while, a little democracy has existed in the world, and that was in Greece in the time of Socrates. Just a little democracy existed, but it was a democracy of city- states: every city was a state unto itself Then it was direct democracy. You were not choosing representatives, you were directly involved in the functioning of the whole government.
The world needs smaller communes - not big, huge, monstrous cities, just small units, communes, so small that they can be direct democracies.
And the map of the world should be one.
There should be no passports, no visas, no questions about anybody's movement.
Movement should be a birthright:
The whole earth is ours!
It is a tremendous job, but it has to be done. It will have to be done because there is no other alternative.
It is suicide or sannyas.
We have to propagate the idea to everyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see, and any intelligence to understand the clear-cut alternative: you create a new kind of religiousness that has never existed before - earthly, physical; not against the spirit but in tune with the spiritual.
That's what I mean by Zorba the Buddha.
That is my name for the new man.