Infallibility: just a popedream
WHY ARE YOU AGAINST THE CHRISTIAN POPE? ISN'T THE POPE INFALLIBLE? WHY DO YOU CALL HIM, AGAIN AND AGAIN, "POPE THE POLACK"?
I am not against anyone in the whole world, for the simple reason that I have no vested interest in anything at all, not even in my own life.
My purpose is fulfilled.
If I die this very moment, there will be no complaint, because I will not be leaving anything incomplete.
Enmity arises when somebody hinders you in your ambition. But I don't have any ambition. I don't want to be the pope.
There will be cardinals all around the earth who are against the pope because they all want to be pope. He himself was a cardinal and must have been ambitious to be the pope. He must have prayed to God, about the pope he hoped to succeed, "Let this old guy die soon." And he did die really very soon: he was only pope for ten or twelve months.
It is something worth noticing. Down through all the centuries popes have been dying like flies. It seems that once you become a pope the whole existence is against you. I think it must be because of all these cardinals and bishops and ministers and priests; they are all hoping one day to become the pope, that is their only ambition. They all must be praying, "God, call this man back home." And although there is no God, so many prayers cannot go unheard. You will be surprised-without God, how can prayers be heard? There is no need for God. Just so many people desiring your death can create enough energy to kill you.
So even though there is no God - Buddha has no God in his religion, but he says to his sannyasins, "After each prayer, never forget to distribute your virtue." It is worth understanding. He says, "When you pray or meditate you attain to a certain virtue, a purity, a compassion, a certain quality of love, a spiritual fragrance. Don't hold it, immediately disperse it. Give it back to the universe from where it has come to you." So the last thing in every meditation, according to Buddha, is: "Whatsoever my meditation has given to me - the bliss, the joy - I give it back to the whole universe."
There is no God, no distributing agency. But there is no need: your wishing it is enough. Existence is not dead; it is alive, it is overflowing with life. It may not have ears to hear you, it may not have any understanding of your language, but it has life energy to feel you, to absorb your deeply - felt prayer.
I am reminded of one thing.
In India, for thousands of years, the snake has been worshipped. There are snake charmers all over India who play a certain tune on a special kind of flute, and snakes start coming out of their holes almost intoxicated with the tune. They dance in front of the snake charmer who is playing on his flute.
When Britishers came into India for the first time, they could not believe it, because they had come with the idea - scientists had found - that snakes don't have any ears. But what to make of this?
If they don't have any ears - and certainly they don't have any ears, in their physiology ears are missing - but they are hearing music; not only hearing it, they are dancing to the tune of it. And not just one snake, all the snakes are affected by certain tunes, and they all dance according to the tune. And they have no ears!
It was reported back to England: "How can we say that they don't have any ears? - because certainly they hear the music. Not only do they hear, they under stand; not only do they understand, they follow it." It took long research to find out how, because certainly they don't have any ears.
The scientists were puzzled: without ears you cannot hear. But it was a solid a fact - and it was happening all over India, no just in one place.
Every year in India there is a month when spring comes; in that month there is a day devoted to the snake. It is the most beautiful time: the flowers, the fragrance, and the air - everything is vibrant with youth, beauty, color. One day is devoted to the snake. Nobody kills the snake because the snake is thought to be almost divine, and they are given milk, they are worshipped, and they dance all over the country. Ir each village you will find places with tents, crowd gathered, snakes dancing.
Finally the scientists discovered that the snake has no ears but that its whole skin is sensitive to sound. It has no specific organ for hearing, but the vibrations of music touching its skin give it a certain feel, and it starts moving, dancing, swaying. It is not hearing - or I would like to put it in a different way: it is hearing with its whole body.
This is a stupid thing to say - that the snake is not hearing because it has no ears like you. The reality is that you have only very small ears, and the snake's ears are spread all over the body. That would be a more scientific and logical way of saying it: that it hears with its whole body. Naturally it hears far better than you, far deeper than you.
It risks its life, because coming out of the holes is dangerous, but it is not afraid. When the music calls it, then there is no fear in it. Then amidst the crowds it comes, moving; and remember, because it is not afraid, it never attacks. And on this particular day it has never been heard that any snake attacked anybody. Even cobras, the very dangerous snakes, are dancing in the marketplaces. They are wild people; but anger and fear are connected. If they are afraid then immediately they can strike back. But they are not afraid. They have forgotten all fear, anger - everything. They are in a self-forgetfulness, so intoxicated with the music that they risk their life.
In the same way existence hears. It has no ears; it has no personality, no eyes, no hands. That's why I say there is no God. But I don't say there is no godliness. In fact I deny God because I want you to understand godliness. Because of God, people have completely forgotten the reality of godliness. It is a quality spread all over existence. Don't expect God to be in your own image - that He has ears, and eyes, and nose, and mouth. Don't be stupid.
This whole existence is alive.
And this aliveness I call godliness, divinity:
No person, but only a presence which is overflowing.
Gautam Buddha is right when he says, "When you attain to some peace, some silence, some joy, distribute it." There is an arithmetic in it, because the more you distribute it, the more you become capable of getting it. People are very miserly.
It is reported that one man came to Buddha and said, "I follow all your teachings and I try my best to do everything, but one condition is troublesome. Can I make just a small exception?"
Buddha said, "Tell me what the exception is."
He said, "I can distribute my virtue to the whole universe but not to my neighbor. So you have to give me permission to let my joy be distributed to the whole universe except my neighbor. That guy, if I have any chance, I will kill."
Buddha said, "How can you distribute to the whole universe if you are excluding your own neighbor?
No, this exception cannot be allowed. You will have to include your neighbor too; otherwise you are not really distributing. You have not understood the fundamentals of it."
It is said about a Buddhist nun who had a golden statue of Buddha - and in Buddhist temples in Japan and in China, there are hundreds of statues.... People loved that man, Gautam Buddha, so immensely, that there is one mountain in China which has a temple with ten thousand Buddha statues. The whole mountain has been carved into statues. The whole mountain has become a temple. Ten thousand Buddhas!
Now, this nun was traveling as Buddhist monks and nuns travel, from one place to another. She had her golden Buddha, and in the morning she would pray to Buddha and she would burn fragrance in prayer. But she was very miserly so she was very much concerned because the fragrance went with the wind; it reached other Buddhas who were also in the temple. And that was her problem, that these Buddhas.... sometimes her golden Buddha missed completely; the wind took the fragrance to other Buddhas.
The nun was very inventive. She found a bamboo, a hollow bamboo, and she made a certain wooden pot, covered, with a hole for the bamboo. She would burn the fragrance inside the pot, cover it and put the other end of the bamboo to the golden Buddha's nose. Just a poor human mind!
She was very happy because now the fragrance was going just to her Bud&a; and all those Buddhas - who knows who has made them? And she thought, "Anyway they are not mine." But it created trouble: soon her Buddha's face became black. She was very puzzled. She asked the chief monk of the monastery where she was staying what to do.
The monk could not believe it. He said, "What have you done to your golden Buddha? Such a beautiful statue and you have destroyed the face. What have you done?"
She said, "Now I have to tell you the whole thing; this is how it happened. Now that the smoke goes directly to his nose it has made his whole face black."
The master of that monastery must have been a man of understanding. He said, "This is bound to happen. When you start possessing even a Buddha, what else can you dispossess? A nun is supposed to have no possessions - and you are not even able to let your Buddha be free. You are not even able to understand that all these statues are of the same Buddha, so wherever the fragrance reaches, it is reaching to Buddha.
"And even if it doesn't reach these statues, even if it reaches outside to the stones, they are hidden Bud&as... because someday some sculptor comes and chops and hammers the rock and just takes out a few unnecessary pieces clinging to it, and the Buddha who was hiding in the stone appears again. So even if your fragrance goes to a stone outside - to the milestone - then too it is reaching a hidden Buddha. So don't be worried: wherever it goes, it goes to him. Otherwise this is not the blackened face of your Buddha, this is your face blackened."
Buddha has no God, but he wants you to share your joy immediately. Don't hold onto it even for a single moment. It will reach, it will vibrate into the existence. Hence, each single man becoming enlightened takes the whole universe a little higher than it was before. This is the only contribution that you can make.
All your contributions - good paintings, good statues, poetry - are not real contributions because they don't help human consciousness to go higher, and that is the only richness in existence. But a single human being becoming enlightened may not do anythinghe may not create a statue, he may not be a painter, he may not be a poet, a singer - it doesn't matter: he has already contributed. The greatest gift he has given to the world without anybody even knowing about it: he has raised you higher than you were.
The whole evolution of consciousness has depended on only a few people; others are beneficiaries.
They have not done anything to be what they are, where they are.
What have you done to be a conscious human being? I don't think that you can remember that you have done anything to be a conscious human being, but you are a conscious human being.
Of course your consciousness is very small, a very momentary phenomenon; you can become unconscious in a second. Somebody hits your face, slaps you, and your consciousness disappears; you become unconscious. Then whatever you do, you are doing it in unconsciousness. Later on, when consciousness comes back and you cool down, you may repent; you may feel this was not right. Who did it?
Many murderers in the courts all over the world have appealed on the grounds that they have not committed the murder. No magistrate, no court or jury has listened to them. But I say to you that almost ninety-nine percent of them are telling the thruth - they have not done it. While they did it they were absolutely unconscious. Now, something a man does in unconsciousness he cannot be held responsible for when he is conscious. If a man, completely drunk, kills somebody, then the court accepts it, that you cannot make him responsible: he was drunk, he was not in his senses.
But what is anger? It is far more intoxicating than any alcohol can be. What is jealousy? What is hatred? They are far more addictive. You can be easily taken out of your drug addiction; any institution like Alcoholics Anonymous can help you. But to make you unaddicted to your jealousy, to your ambition, to your competitiveness, to your anger, rage, your potentiality for violence, no Alcoholics Anonymous can be of any help. But a few, a very few people, enlightened people, have simply pushed you upwards. They have distributed themselves. They are not hoarders - they cannot be.
In the same way the reverse also happens. My feeling about why popes die so quickly is that so many cardinals, so many bishops - and they are in thousands all around the world; I think monks, Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals, in all, number almost one million. Now, one million people continually praying - of course to a God who does not exist.... But this prayer itself, this desire, this ambition to become the pope is enough to kill the poor man. So almost within one year, two years, three years, the pope dies.
I am not in any way concerned with the pope - he is not in my way. I am going nowhere, so nobody can be in my way. I am simply sitting in my room: there is no possibility of the pope crossing my way.
Yes, the American government still categorizes me as a tourist. That is strange. A man who is sitting in his room the whole day for four years is a tourist! Compared to me, all the Yankees are tourists. But I go to the bathroom, I go to the swimming pool, I come to this meeting room - if this is considered tourism, certainly I am a tourist. I am not a resident, it is so obvious, I am touring so much: the whole day touring and touring. I can understand their viewpoint, why they categorize me as a tourist after four years of my sitting in my chair.
The pope - you ask me, why am I against him? I am not against him, but it may have appeared to you that I am against him. The reason is that I simply state whatever is the fact, with no enmity, with no desire to harm anybody. But if the fact is such that somebody is exposed, then the responsibility is the fact's, not mine. Just not to hurt somebody I cannot lie.
I have been criticizing the pope for the simple reason that such people are the greatest frauds on the earth. Their God is a fraud, their messiah is a fraud; and they are representatives of these two frauds. They are representing someone who has no existence at all. And they are representing Jesus Christ, who is mentally sick. Now, what can I do about it if somebody is mentally sick?
However politely you say it - you can make it sweet: "Darling, you are mentally sick" - the fact remains a fact.
It will be a great day in human growth when these people are taken for exactly what they are, and they should be treated accordingly.
You ask me: is the pope not infallible? Just the idea of infallibility is idiotic. Nobody has ever been infallible. Even the enlightened person is not infallible.
Of course if he falls, he falls in an enlightened way - that is a different thing - but he is not infallible.
And if he is enlightened he will accept the fact, because who can know more clearly than he that existence is so mysterious, so vast - no beginning, no end, unbounded. To say that you are infallible - does it mean that you have understood the whole mystery, you have demystified existence?now there is no question that you cannot answer? - now all your answers are going to be exactly factual, true?
The enlightened person knows that in his own being now there is no darkness.
Hence, he is called enlightened.
He is full of light and he is full of blissfulness.
All anguish has disappeared.
He has found what everybody is looking for, knowingly or unknowingly.
He has arrived.
The feeling of arrival, that now there is nowhere to go, this contentment....
But it has nothing to do with infallibility.
Buddha committed mistakes, Mahavira committed mistakes; and I am sitting before you - in coming to Oregon, do you think I have not committed a mistake? I am proof enough that being enlightened does not mean you are infallible. You can fall into the Big Muddy Ranch. And now it is so difficult to get out of it. The more you try to get out of it, the more you are going into the mud.
This is so clear that there is no need for me to quote what mistakes Buddha committed, what mistakes Mahavira committed: I have committed mistakes, and I go on committing them; but that does not endanger my enlightenment. It has nothing to do with it.
I make the best possible use of my mistakes. That's what we are doing in the Big Muddy Ranch - trying! - that's why I say, trying, in an enlightened way, to make something good out of it. If we have fallen into it, it may be our mistake, but it is fortunate for the Big Muddy Ranch, so let's make the best of it. And we are trying hard to make the best of it.
But all these people have been claiming infallibility. I am, in many ways, a crackpot. I should not be saying such things - that I commit mistakes. This is not in tune with my profession; it is against it.
That's why people of my profession hate me, because they say, "These things you should not say.
Even if you come to know that you have committed a mistake, try to cover it. Try to make it appear as if it is not a mistake.
That's what they have been doing for centuries. But I cannot do it. I am simply helpless: I cannot deceive. These people have been doing that. Mahavira was claiming that he was omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. Now this is sheer nonsense. He had no idea even that when he died his followers would be immediately divided into two sects; otherwise he would have made some arrangement, or at least told them, "Be aware, this is going to happen. Don't let it happen.
He had no idea that this was going to happen. And it was so apparent that even an unenlightened person who had a little bit of intelligence could see it already happening when Mahavira was alive. I will have to explain it to you.
Mahavira is the twenty-fourth messiah of the Jainas. Before him, two hundred and fifty years before, was the twenty-third messiah; the gap was only of two hundred and fifty years. The name of the twenty-third messiah was Parshvanath. He used to wear white robes, and his followers used to wear white robes.
When Mahavira declared himself to be the twentyfourth in the line, there were seven other competitors who also declared themselves. Gautam Buddha had also competed in the beginning- because Jainism was an established firm, and if you can get an established firm.... For ten thousand years it had existed, and had gone deep into the soil. It had tremendous power - roots, money, people. Buddha was hesitant to start a new business from the very scratch. First he tried to compete with Mahavira. If he could be accepted as the twenty-fourth tirthankara, then things would be comfortable and more easy.
This is simple, pure economics. Rather than opening a new shop, with no credibility, with no past....
Where are you going to get customers? Customers are already divided; they have their chosen shops. Who is going to come to you? So seven other people of the same caliber tried hard, but Mahavira was really a difficult guy: it was impossible to defeat him in any competition, particularly as far as asceticism was concerned. I don't think, among his contemporaries, or afterwards or before him, there was anybody who could have competed with him.
He easily used to fast for one month or two months. In his twelve-year period of spiritual sadhana, it is said he ate only for one year: one year out of twelve. Not solidly for one year, then an eleven-year fast, no: a three-month fast, then a few days of eating; a four-month fast, then a few days of eating; a one month fast, then one day of eating. The average in twelve days came to one day of eating and eleven days of not eating. Now, none of the seven competitors were capable of doing this.
And Mahavira was living naked. None of the seven were capable of doing that either. He had really a beautiful body. Only such a beautiful man could afford to be naked. Clothes are helpful to you in many ways. It is not only the climate that they protect you from; they do many more significant things. They keep your whole body covered. They let people know only your face, so your beauty or ugliness is judged only by your face - and your face is just a small part of your whole body. The whole body has its own beauty, its own proportion, its own radiance.
Mahavira certainly had a body which you could exhibit, which was worth exhibitingso solid, almost as if cut out of marble rock. He defeated all these seven, and the Jaina community accepted him as the twenty-fourth tirthankara. But the twenty-third tirthankara and his disciples and the whole Jaina community were still under his influence although Mahavira was the first tirthankara in twenty-four tirthankaras who was naked....
Now, how people go on distorting history. It is strange: even religious people do the same as did Stalin in Russia. When he came to power he changed the whole history of the revolution. Pictures of Trotsky disappeared from everywhere, and the names of Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinovyev - all the important people who were the leaders of the revolution. Stalin was not an important person in the revolution; he was not a leader or an organizer and he had no qualities of an orator.
Trotsky was one of the greatest orators ever. Lenin was a great organizer, he was not a great orator.
But Lenin and Trotsky compensated for each other: Lenin organized the revolution, and Trotsky went on igniting inspiring, making people afire. He really knew how to put words on fire. So naturally in every picture he is by the side of Lenin; he was the second man in the revolution. After Lenin he was going to be the chief of the country.
Stalin was only party secretary. His work was in the office and in the files. In public, nobody knew him; and he had no qualifications to be known in public. He could not address a public meeting: he could not write any impressive document, pamphlet, book. He was a bureaucrat. Sitting in his office as the general secretary of the communist party, he could issue orders, move files or not move files.
But his work was behind walls - nobody knew him.
After the revolution he changed the whole history. All those names which were important were immediately erased. Books were burned; new histories were written in which Stalin was the second man to Lenin Photographers were asked to do every possible trick to replace Trotsky's photo with Stalin's photo. In group photographs Trotsky disappeared and Stalin appeared - just trick photography.
For forty years Stalin was in power. Of course, whatsoever he wanted to be was the history. One can accept a politician doing such a thing, but that's exactly what has always happened in religion too.
Mahavira was naked, so Mahavira's followers finally made the other twenty-three tirthankaras also naked; now, they were not alive to protest, "What are you doing?" In Jaina temples you will find twenty-four statues all naked. They are all replicas of Mahavira, they look exactly the same as Mahavira. But the people who knew Parshvanath and who had followed him - and he was a man of such charismatic power that after two hundred and fifty years, he was also, in a certain sense, alive.... So immediately, because of Mahavira's nakedness, Jainism started falling into two parties, when Mahavira was still alive.
The people who were initiated by Mahavira became naked, and the people who had followed Jainism traditionally, yet who had accepted Mahavira as the twenty-fourth tirthankara, remained in the white- robed clothes; their monks remained white-robed. It was so clear that after Mahavira there was going to be trouble between the white-robed followers - they are called shvetambaras: shvetambara means white-robed ones and the naked ones. They are called digambaras - the people for whom only the sky is the clothing: no other clothing between the sky and the body. That is the meaning of the word digambara. Dig means the sky; the sky is the only clothing for them, nothing more than that.
It was so clear throughout Mahavira's whole life that the traditional Jainas were white-robed, that his followers were naked, and that soon there would be a fight. They were still quarreling, Mahavira's followers saying, "If you are followers of Mahavira, you should drop clothes." But the shvetambaras said, "We are followers of twenty-three tirthankaras who were all white-robed. We have accepted Mahavira in spite of his nakedness, not because of his nakedness - in spite of his nakedness, because he proved far more solid, integrated and centered than all the other competitors. Nobody was even close to him, they were far behind."
Now, anybody who has a little intelligence can see that after Mahavira, these people were going to cut each other's necks, and for twenty-five centuries that is what has been happening.
I visited a place near Indore, where I used to go often. I had a great following in Indore. This place, Devas, is small. I used to pass from Bhopal to Indore; Devas is just on the way, and there is a very beautiful Jaina temple. But unfortunately, for twenty years it has been locked with three locks: one from the digambaras, one from the shvetambaras, and one from the government. For twenty years the case has been in the high court - to whom does it belong?
If you look at these small things you can understand what kind of stupid people have been posing as religious. It was the only temple in the town so both the communities used to go there to worship, but they could not worship together. When the shvetambaras worshipped they put clothes on Mahaviras statue. And the digambaras of course cannot worship him with the clothes on; they would immediately throw the clothes away. And nobody asks Mahavira what he wants. Perhaps some negotiation might be possible: they could just give him some underwear - a halfway solution.
Why be in a bother? And he is not going to object - he is just a stone - so put some underwear on him and both can just worship together.
But that is not the only problem. Digambaras worship a statue of Mahavira with closed eyes; that is even more troublesome. The shvetambaras worship a statue of him with open, half-open eyes. Now there is no way to decide whether Mahavira meditated with closed eyes or half-open eyes - because both are right methods - but on the stone Mahavira in the temple the eyes are closed because the temple was made by the digambaras. So what the shvetambaras did is that they had false eyes and they pasted those false eyes, half-open, on the statue. Great idea! And after worship they took off the eyes and the clothes.
But sometimes it used to happen that a digambara would be worshipping and a shvetambara would come in and put the false eyes on the statue. Immediately there would be a fight. Finally the government decided, "You divide the time of your worship: up to twelve in the morning, the digambaras; after twelve, the shvetambaras - otherwise it is difficult. And what can the court decide?
It is for you people to decide. Otherwise have two statues or make two temples; but continually fighting, quarreling, beating each other - this doesn't look good." But even that idea didn't work.
You know if you check everybody's watches, you will find that somebody's is five minutes slow, somebody's is five minutes fast. And when people want to fight.... The shvetambaras would be worshipping and the digambaras would enter: "Get out - it is twelve!" But on the shvetambaras' watches, five minutes were still to go. The digambaras would say, "Not on our watches - it is twelve."
When you are just bent upon fighting, then whose watch is right?
Finally the court decided that the temple should be locked so there would be no more nuisance in the town - so the court locked it. But those followers could not be left behind - who is the court to lock up their temple? So the shvetambaras have their lock, bigger than the court's; the digambaras have an even bigger lock, bigger than the shvetambaras'. Now there are three locks on that temple, and Mahavira has been imprisoned for twenty years!
And I asked those people - one day when I was passing I stopped near the temple and asked one Jaina whom I knew, "What are you doing to Mahavira? Is this attitude a religious quality?"
But he said, "Whatsoever happens, we will not allow anybody to spoil the real image of Mahavira; he is naked and has closed eyes." And when he was talking to me, immediately another man came up and he said, "What did you say?" He was a shvetambara, and he said, "Mahavira has white clothes and open eyes."
Mahavira saw it happening already in front of him, but didn't do anything - and he thinks, says, that he is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent: all the qualities of God. Because in Jainism God does not exist, necessarily the whole burden of all those qualities falls upon the next fellow, the tirthankara, because he replaces God. He takes the robe of God and the role of God.
Buddha makes jokes about Mahavira: "He begs before a house where nobody has lived for years - and he is omniscient, all-knowing! And when Jainas say all-knowing, it means past, present and future the whole of time. Whatever has happened, is happening and will happen, he knows. But he does not know that the house is empty, nobody is there; and he is standing in front of the house with his hands spread, waiting for somebody to come.
Jaina monks are not allowed to ask; that is below their dignity. Egoism enters in so many ways:
"below their dignity." They will not ask. You have to ask them, "Will you be kind enough to accept our food?"
Mahavira is standing before a house where there is nobody, so he cannot know even about the present, the immediate present - what to say about the past and the future. But it was a problem for Buddha's followers to discuss with Jainas - their Buddha was not omnipresent, not omnipotent, not omniscient; so Jainas would say, "What kind of Master have you got?" So they invented a new idea Buddha invented a new idea.
But nobody accepts the simple truth. Neither Mahavira had the courage - although they call him the great warrior; Mahavira means the great warrior. Howsoever great a warrior he was, he did not have the guts to simply say, "I don't have all these qualities. I am enlightened; that is one thing. I know myself; that is one thing. I am fulfilled; that is one thing. What does that have to do with being omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent?" No, he could not manage to do that because the twenty- three tirthankaras before him had claimed those three qualities. If he disclaimed them, he would not be the twenty-fourth, and immediately he would fall in the eyes of the Jainas.
Buddha also did not have the courage. He was joking against Mahavira but he invented a new idea.
He said, "An enlightened person is not necessarily always omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent; but if he wants, then he can move his light into any section: it is just like a torch. If he moves it towards the future then he knows the whole future. He is not omnipotent twenty-four hours a day, but if he wants to know about the future he is capable; if he wants to know about the past, he has to turn his torch."
Again this is not true. Buddha has committed so many mistakes that I don't think any such torch was there. About the past of course you cannot argue - there are no records to be compared with whatever he said. But things that he said about the future have not turned out that way.
Buddha thought India would become totally Buddhist. And anybody could see at that time, while Buddha was alive, that his influence was spreading so stronglyHinduism has never been afraid of anybody as they were of Buddha. They were not afraid of Mahavira. Mahavira had defeated Buddha in a certain competition, but that competition was decided on by the Jainas. And Jainas are ascetics, masochistic: the more you torture yourself the more spiritual you are. Other people could not torture themselves as much as Mahavira was capable of torturing himself Mahavira used to meditate standingsitting was too comfortable. If he sees my chair... I am just heading for hell. He would be sitting naked on the bare ground or on a stone, because he could not use any carpet, any mattress, no; even that would be comfortable. So he used to meditate standing, with closed eyes. I feel digambaras are right; about his nakedness, they are right and about his closed eyes they are right, because not a single statue has been found in the whole history of Mahavira with half-open eyes - it is enough proof. And the statues are naked. It is such an historical fact, reported by all the religions of India, that shvetambaras cannot deny it.
So what they say - this is how cunningness, politics, everything is present in the name of religion - they say that he was given by the gods.... There is no God, remember, but there are gods; that's a totally different category. There are gods which are close to what, in Christianity, you call angels.
There are many of them, heaven is full of gods, and hell is full of devils. The enlightened man goes to a third place; not to heaven but above heaven, to moksha - from where nobody falls back again.
But the gods will fall back; they are just using their bank account as long as it lasts. They have earned virtue in their life, have done good deeds and good actions, so they are born in heaven as gods.
Heaven is some kind of holiday resort. When you have had enough you can take leave for two months and go to a holiday resort, to Switzerland or somewhere, and enjoy yourself and just relax.
Heaven is a religious holiday resort. The people who are born in heaven are called gods. They are below the tirthankara, they are below the enlightened person. Mahavira and Buddha both accepted gods.
Buddha said, "The whole of India is going to become part of my dhamma, my religion." But that has not happened, just the opposite: in India there are no Buddhists at all. The whole of Asia is Buddhist - which Buddha did not even mention. At least he should have mentioned China, a bigger country than India; and Japan, which has developed Buddhism to its ultimate peak. But he had no idea.
Where was his torch? Once in a while he should have used the torch and looked around: he would have discovered that Tibet was to become a Buddhist country; the whole country would be almost a monastery.
Now it is a tradition in Tibet that every family has to give at least one son to the monastery.
Most probably it is the eldest son who is given to the monastery as a monk, as an offering to religion.
So every family has a monk in the monastery, and every family desires that some day - when they are old and are of no use in the world - they will move to the monastery. The whole country of Tibet is a big monastery, secluded from the whole world.
Buddha never turned his torch towards Tibet. He never turned his torch towards Japan, where Zen Buddhism has flowered, where Buddhism has come to real maturity, where Buddha's ideas have been refined and refined for century after century so that now Zen Buddhism is just pure fragrance.
But he had no idea of Japan.
All that Buddha talks about is India, and by India also I suspect that he meant only Bihar, because he had never gone anywhere else. The state from which Maitreya comes is called Bihar; bihar means tour, tourist. Buddha toured only in that area - that's why its name became Bihar. Bihar means Buddha's tour area. I don't think that he had any idea about the rest of India. He must have been thinking only of Bihar; that was the India he knew.
But all that he has said has gone wrong. He thought that he was creating a vegetarian religion but all the Buddhists are non-vegetarian. Strange - all Buddha's followers are meat-eaters. For his whole life Buddha was teaching people to drop non-vegetarian food because it is insensate, ugly, inhuman, gross, and will pull your consciousness down to lower states; it won't make you light enough to fly to higher states of consciousness. All the Buddhists are meat-eaters for the simple reason that in India Buddhism was uprooted; Buddhist monks escaped all over Asia - and the whole of Asia was non-vegetarian.
Buddhists were in a difficulty. They could not convince people to drop their meat-eating and just live on vegetables. They did not have the influence or the charisma of Buddha, so just the reverse happened: rather than converting China into a vegetarian country, the monks became non- vegetarian because they could not get food. Buddha said, "Never ask for food from a non-vegetarian home," but there were no vegetarian homes; where were they going to get food? And they were not ready to die. If they were ready to die, why should they have escaped and taken the trouble of crossing the Himalayas?
In those days... even today, crossing the Himalayas by foot is a superhuman task; two thousand years ago it would have been almost an impossibility, but they had to choose between death and life. At least there was a chance they might cross over the Himalayas; and many succeeded. Many died on the way but many succeeded in entering Tibet, many succeeded in entering China; but there they had to compromise. For their life they had escaped; now for their life they had to compromise.
They did not talk about vegetarian food; they simply dropped that idea completely because it would create a trouble. All Buddhists are meat-eaters today. And Buddha could not turn his torch and see?
There is no such torch.
I have told you nobody speaks against his own profession, but I am simply eccentric. I am not against the pope; I am simply for the truth, for the fact. If it goes against anybody I couldn't care less.
You ask me: isn't the pope infallible? One thing is certain: except for this pope, no pope has been infallible; down the centuries all popes were fallible. But perhaps this pope may be infallible, because the idea of infallibility is possible only for an idiotic mind. Only an idiot can claim, "I am infallible,"
so about this pope I cannot say. He may really be thinking that he is infallible - he belongs to that category. Now you will think I am against him. I am not against him, I am really supporting him. I am saying he may be infallible, because idiots are.
And you asked me: why do you go on calling him again and again, pope the polack? What do you want? Should I call him pope the Oregonian? That is too much. I am a generous man but not that generous. He is a polack - what can I do about it? In fact all polacks are infallible, so it is nothing special about him - all polacks. Poland is full of infallible people.
It reminds me about a story... I love it. In a small school, in the Bible class, the teacher, who was also the priest, explained to the children about the great dogma of Christianity, the dogma of the trinity: God the father, the Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ, the son. And then he told the students, "You have understood the idea; now you all draw a picture, according to your imagination, of how these three people are, how they look to you."
So all the students started drawing pictures. All the pictures were strange - they were bound to be strange, because how can the Holy Ghost be drawn? Yes, about God the father they have heard that He has a long beard, so they drew Him as almost just a head with a beard. For the Holy Ghost somebody drew a zigzag line, like a whirlwind. And about Jesus they knew that he was a nice fellow so they tried to make a nice picture.
Just one small boy created a problem. The teacher looked at his picture; he had done a really beautiful picture. He had made an airplane with four windows. From one window God the father was looking out, from another window the Holy Ghost was looking out, from the third window Jesus Christ was looking out. The priest asked, "This is all okay, but who is this fourth?" - because there was a face at the fourth window.
The small boy said, "Pontius, the pilot... otherwise the other three would crash."
I like it; rather than Pontius Pilate, Pontius the pilot is far more fitting. And the boy really had great imaginative power.
You don't have even that much imagination, that when I say pope the polack.... I insist on calling him pope the polack because I want you to continually remember that this is the first time that the right person has become a pope. Up to now only wrong people used to reach that post. For the first time in history the right person has reached the post; that s why he is not going to die so soon. He is not dying - he has already passed the average limit. Let all those idiots around the world pray for his death - he is not going to die - he is a solid polack! He is getting healthier than he was before, and doing great works.
No, I am not against him; I am not against anybody. Even if I want to be against anybody, I cannot be. When I first read Jesus' statement, "Love your enemies," I was shocked, because if Jesus was really enlightened, he could not have enemies in the first place, so whom are you going to love? And to love your enemies the basic requirement is first to create your enemies, then love them. Such unnecessary trouble! Why create enemies?
First, creating is a terrible effort, and then loving is even more terrible. It is so difficult even to love your friends. Love is such a messy and greasy affair that perhaps only Italians can manage it, nobody else. Love your enemies".... I wondered. First I would have to create enemies, then I would have to love them.
Then I came upon his statement: "Love thy neighbor." That too is very difficult because I don't have any neighbors. People can sit close to me, even touching my body - still nobody is my neighbor.
Only another enlightened man can be my neighbor, because between him and me there will be no wall, no fence, no division. It is very difficult for me to find a neighbor, and even if I succeed in finding a neighbor there will be no need to love him. He will be overflowing with love itself; he will not be in need of love.
Two enlightened people have very rarely met. Only one instance is reported in the whole of history, and that was a meeting between Kabir and Farid. I have come across no other instance and if I have not come across one, then you can be certain nobody can come across one, because I have searched every nook and corner possible.
Kabir was old and had moved to Magahar from Varanasi. Farid was on a pilgrimage, and just on the way was Kabir's ashram. Farid's disciples asked him, "It would be a great joy for us if you meet, sit together, and talk about something. We would be just overwhelmed listening to you two enlightened people."
Kabir's disciples said, "We have heard that Farid is passing by with his disciples. We should invite him here. This is not good, that he should pass along the road and we don't invite him in. And it would be a great opportunity for us poor people to see you both together - two flames. And even if you only discuss a little bit, talk a little bit, for us it is going to be an unexpected blessing."
Kabir said, "If you say so, invite him."
Farid said, "If you say so, we will go."
Farid set out towards the ashram but Kabir was coming; on the way they met. They hugged each other and they laughed loudly. The disciples were a little shocked: they were not expecting that they would laugh so loudly. They had neither heard Kabir laugh before, nor had they heard Farid laugh before like this - almost madly. They looked at each other, the disciples of both: What was going on?
Holding hands, Kabir and Farid went in. They sat together and for two days they remained there.
Not a single word was uttered. Yes, once in a while they giggled. And after two days, Kabir came half the way to give Farid a send-off. They again hugged each other, laughed loudly and departed, not saying a single word, not even "good-bye."
For two days the disciples were just boiling, waiting for these two days to be over, because to start quarreling with your own Master, in front of the Master, to ask him, "What are you doing?" didn't seem good. So they waited. But as Kabir and Farid departed, the disciples of both took hold of their Masters, and they asked the same question: "What happened? Why didn't you speak a single word?" Farid's disciples said, "When Kabir was not here you went on pouring strange words, strange things, strange ideas, on our heads. We might have understood, we might not have understood, but you didn't care; you just went on. Most of the time what you say goes above our heads. When there was a man of your quality, caliber, status, why were you silent?"
They both said the same thing to their disciples: "Whosoever spoke would have proved that he is not enlightened yet, because what is there to say? Speech is possible in three conditions. Two ignorant people can have a really great conversation; such a great conversation cannot happen otherwise.
The more ignorant both are, the greater their conversation, the more juicy.
The second possibility is that one is enlightened and the other is unenlightened. Then there can be a certain conversation, but mostly it is a monologue The enlightened person will speak, and the unenlightened, at the most, can ask a question; but it is not conversation in the true sense. What can the unenlightened contribute? All that he can do is raise a question - that is his contribution.
The answer is going to come from the enlightened one.
The third situation is: two enlightened people. They cannot speak. They know, but they know that whatever they know cannot be put into words.
The disciples asked, "Then why did you laugh?"
Kabir and Farid said, "We laughed at you" Kabir said, "I used to think that only I have all these idiots - I saw that Farid has also. I laughed; and he laughed because he must have thought that not only are these idiots torturing him, they are torturing me too. So we both laughed."
The answer was even more shocking, that this was the reason that they had loudly exploded in laughter Then the disciples asked, "Why, once in a while, did you giggle?"
Farid said, "I was just looking at your boiling! You were just getting ready to kill me once these two days were finished. That's why I giggled, and I think that's why Kabir giggled, because his disciples were also getting hot."
Those two days looked like two years because those two people were simply sitting silently; and because of them, just out of respect, all the disciples were sitting silently. But they were just keeping silent, they were not really silent. Inside there was a great turmoil: what was the matter? What was going on? Why were their Masters giggling?
Farid and Kabir said, "Whenever we saw that you were getting to a point where you would explode, we giggled. That helped you to cool down." Then the disciples remembered that was true: whenever they were really getting too angry, that was the time when their Masters giggled.
Of course a certain type of invisible relationship starts growing between the Master and the disciple.
If the disciple is angry, if the disciple is sad, if the disciple is in a negative mood, it reaches the Master without your saying anything. And the Master responds in whatever way the situation demands.
Perhaps he may not respond at all, if that is what is required; he may simply ignore it. Or he may take much note of it and make much fuss about it. It a]l depends on the situation, and every situation is unique.
I have no neighbors so I cannot love neighbors. I thank God - who does not exist, but for these purposes His name can be used; there is no harm in it - that I don't have any neighbors.
Those two days were good, but what about Farid and Kabir being together for two years? Then they would have really got into trouble. Those disciples could manage to control themselves for two days, but do you think for two years they would have been able to manage - listening to this giggle once in a while, or laughter, and then silence? Either they would have escaped from the place, thinking, "These two people are mad and we are going mad with them," or they would have started quarreling with their Master.
But it was not that Farid wanted to meet Kabir nor was it that Kabir wanted to meet Farid. It was the disciples who wanted the meeting, and the Masters both thought, "There is no harm in it. Why unnecessarily say no to them? It will be a good experience for them." If they had not asked, Kabir would not have asked Farid and Farid would not have gone to Kabir, for the simple reason that there was no point: they were almost the same. You don't go to meet yourself, or do you? You don't invite yourself to lunch or dinner, or do you? There is no point at all.
I am not against anybody - there is no reason to be - but I am all for truth. Whether it goes against my profession or not, I don't care. In fact I am not a professional enlightened man: I am simply enlightened. Those were professional people. I feel ashamed that all these people - Mahavira, Buddha, Sanjay Vilethiputta, Ajit Keshkambal, Makhkhali Gosal - all these people were behaving like politicians, trying to be the tirthankara because the credibility of that religion was ancient. It was an establishment, well organized.
To start something from scratch needs courage.
And I am doing exactly that - starting things from the very first scratch.
I don't want any borrowed credibility from any religion, from any establishment, from any organisation I want simply to do my thing in my own way with my own people.
It is a hard task, and there are a thousand and one difficulties which could have been avoided if I were part of an establishment; but then I would have been dead, not alive.
To me, the day Mahavira was accepted by the Jainas as their twenty-fourth tirthankara, he died; after that he was not alive, because he was only fulfilling a certain role that is expected of a tirthankara, doing everything exactly as a tirthankara should. This was not real life, it was not authentic. Up to then, before he became a tirthankara, Mahavira was living his own way, he was moving about on his own. But to compete is to go wrong. Then, to be nominated and then to be victorious - as if you can nominate and elect somebody for enlightenment! The unenlightened masses, unenlightened people, are choosing who is the tirthankara - this is simply absurd.
I have told Jainas in India many times when speaking to them: "If you say to me that you are ready to accept me as your twenty-fifth tirthankara I will simply spit on your face. You and your twenty-fifth tirthankara can both go to hell. Why should I be the twenty-fifth when I can be first?"
I don't see the point of Mahavira fighting to be the twenty-fourth, the twenty-fourth in the line! And for that all these people were also candidates.
I am perfectly happy in just being the first and the last.
I am not making a place for a second, because then there will be competition and there will be trouble. And how are you going to decide?
So my shop opens with me and closes with me!