To be Rebellious is to be Religious
YESTERDAY YOU WERE SPEAKING TO US ABOUT VARIOUS PEOPLE ASKING YOU IF YOU WERE AN AVATARA, A TIRTHANKARA, A PAIGAMBARA, ET CETERA. IS THERE ANYTHING MORE THAT YOU WISH TO SAY TO US?
Yes, there are a few things. I would not like to be put in the company of these people called messiahs, paigambaras, avataras, tirthankaras. I am just an ordinary man, and I feel their company is disgusting.
Let me give you a few examples: Hindus believe that Parasurama is one of the incarnations of God. Parasurama murdered his mother because his father was suspicious.... In fact, almost every husband is suspicious of the wife, every wife is suspicious of the husband. The very phenomenon of marriage exists because you cannot trust, hence you have to bring the law in between you.
Otherwise, love would have been enough.
But nobody trusts love, and there is reason not to trust it. A real roseflower flowers, spreads its fragrance, and dies. Only a plastic roseflower is not born, never dies. Love, to be real - you have to understand - one day it arises, blossoms, flowers, but it is nothing eternal. It fades, it disappears, it dies. You cannot trust it.
You have to bring law, instead of love, between you. Law is a plastic thing. That's what marriage is: love become plastic. Now you can rest assured the law will prevail. Love will die sooner than it would have died if there was no marriage. But you will go on pretending that it is there, hence the suspicion.
True lovers will understand it - that there was something tremendously beautiful: it fulfilled them, it transported them to another dimension, but now it is gone. True lovers will be grateful to each other.
They will not quarrel. They have given to each other a few moments of eternity - they will remember those moments, but they will not have any grudge. And they will depart as friends, tremendously grateful to each other.
While love is there, everything is right. When love is not there, everything is ugly. A husband living with a wife whom he does not love, a wife sleeping with her husband whom she does not love, what are they doing? Is it not prostitution? The whole institution of marriage is nothing but the legalization of prostitution.
... Naturally, Parasurama's father was suspicious: his wife was immensely beautiful. He ordered Parasurama to behead her. While she was sleeping one night, he told him, "Go and cut off her head." And Parasurama - just to follow the father's order, because that is what Hindus call a great religious quality: obedience - cut off the head of his mother. Now he is respected as an incarnation of God.
Do you want me to be included in such company? And it is not only the one case that he murdered his mother and proved his obedience, which in Hindu eyes is one of the most religious qualities....
All religions believe that you should be obedient. No religion has ever said to you that to be a rebel is to be authentically religious.
That's what I say to you: to be rebellious is to be religious.
Obedience is a strategy of the priest, of the politicians, to exploit you, to keep you in slavery, in mental slavery. All religions praise obedience.
... And when he committed this murder - and to kill one's mother is not an ordinary murder, and without even asking why, because true obedience never asks why - then his father made him a professional murderer. His father was a great priest, and there had been a conflict between the priest and the warrior, the priest and the politician. So his father said, "You destroy all the warriors in the country, all the politicians in the country" - so brahmins, the priests, become both temporal heads and spiritual leaders. It is just like the pope in his tiny empire of the Vatican, which is only eight square miles - our commune is far bigger; one hundred and twenty-six square miles - but in that eight square miles of the Vatican the pope has two things together. He is the temporal head and he is the spiritual head.
That was the effort that Parasurama tried to make. Naturally, brahmins have awarded him the title of avatara, incarnation of God. If Parasurama is an incarnation of God, then what will be the incarnation of the devil? The story may be exaggerated as all religious stories are: it says that thirty-six times he destroyed all the warriors on the earth, singlehanded. Perhaps Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mussolini, Mao Zedong, all put together have not killed so many people as Parasurama has done; but still he is an avatara, an incarnation of God.
I am not an avatara. I would prefer just to be an ordinary man. And there is so much beauty in just being ordinary, so much peace, so much joy, so much blessedness, that who wants to be a messiah? Who wants to be a paigambara?
Mohammed is the paigambara. He had nine wives. It suits a paigambara, because in those days a person's prestige was counted by how many wives he had - he had nine wives, and God has chosen him to be his messenger to the world? This man is behaving with the women as if they are cattle. He has no respect for women, he does not believe them to be human beings.
But this is nothing. If you look at his whole life, he was continuously killing, fighting. He was killing to spread the word of God, he was killing to spread the message of peace. The word Islam means peace; that is the name of his religion. He used to carry a sword on which these words were written:
"Peace is my Message." On the sword, "Peace is my Message." But there is a condition: if you are converted to Mohammedanism, to Islam, then you are saved; otherwise, it is better for your good that you should be killed, because at least by killing you, you will be prevented from committing many sins. He was compassionate in killing you for your own good. Would you like me to sit with Mohammed?
Parasurama is thought by Hindus to be only an ansavatara - that means the partial incarnation of God. The second most important incarnation is Rama, who is worshipped all over India. He is the most worshipped incarnation in India, but the reasons why he is worshipped are again the same.
His father had four wives. Rama was his eldest son, and when he felt that he was getting too old and death was coming close, he wanted Rama to be enthroned as his successor. But his fourth wife, who was the youngest and the most beautiful, whom he had just chosen.... Now this dirty old man, who knows that he is going to die, is almost on his deathbed - why should he have married at this time? She persuaded him that Rama should be sent, exiled, into the forest beyond the kingdom for fourteen years - because her own son by that time would be adult and she wanted her son to be the king. And this old man, so infatuated with that young woman, for no reason at all exiled Rama for fourteen years, for no crime he had committed. And Hindus worship him because he obeyed his father: obedience to tradition, to your father, to your forefathers; obedience to the past, obedience to the dead.
Rama's wife, Sita, followed him, because in India a woman is thought to be a true, authentic woman if she simply becomes a shadow to her husband, with no soul of her own. She followed like a shadow, but was stolen from the forest by another king, Ravana. For three years Rama had to fight, collect his friends, sympathizers, and fight with Ravana to take his wife back. He recovered his wife.
But the words he said to her are so ugly that I cannot conceive that a human being with any sense of dignity will utter such words. He said, "Listen, woman. Don't get this idea in your head that I have been fighting for you. It was a question of my prestige. I can get thousands of women like you, and before I can accept you, you will have to pass through a fire test. You will have to pass through fire.
If you can come through it alive, I will know that you are pure, that you have not deceived me, that you have not cheated me. If you don't come out alive, it is settled."
Now, it is strange; it seems there are double standards. If Sita was to take this fire test, then he should have also gone through the fire test. For three years he was also alone, living with thousands of other people. What is the guarantee of his character, his morality, his purity? No, it is a man's world. Man can ask the woman about her character, but the woman cannot ask.
The story is: Sita passed the fire test, came out of it alive. Still, when they came back home there was great suspicion in the kingdom: for three years Rama's wife had remained in the palace of Ravana, and Rama has accepted her back. He knows perfectly; she has even taken the fire test, which is absolutely unscientific....
You can try and you can find out. Two plus two are four. You say two plus two are four; you are saying a truth - then put your hand in the fire. Is your statement true or false? It will be decided.
Fire will decide it - whether two plus two make four, or five, or six. And if you are burned then two plus two are not four; you are being untrue. Any small thing can make it clear that it is absolutely foolish. I can ask you, "What is the time?" You can look at your watch and say, "This is the time."
And I can put your hand on a candle to find out whether you are saying the truth or not. Do you think your hand will not be burned? And if it is burned, then whatever you were saying was not true.
It can be true only if your hand is not burned. Now, fire has nothing to do with your character, your mathematics, your watch. Fire follows its own law, it has nothing to do with your morality.
... Seeing the situation back in the capital of Ayodhya, Rama threw Sita again into the forest, because people were suspicious and that suspicion was dangerous to his power. This man is a politician, a third rate politician, and Hindus have been worshipping him as the great incarnation of God! But he is still a partial incarnation. Hindus have a bigger surprise for you - that is Krishna. He is the perfect, total incarnation of God - purnavatara. And you cannot find a more cunning, more political character than Krishna. You were surprised that Mohammed had nine wives; now what will you do when you hear Krishna had sixteen thousand wives? And don't think that this is just a story; it is not, it is factual.
In India, just before India became independent, the Nizam of Hyderabad had five hundred wives.
If in the twentieth century a man can have five hundred wives, it is not inconceivable that just five thousand years before a man could have sixteen thousand; just thirty-two times more than the nizam - not much. And these sixteen thousand wives were not married socially, legally, conventionally - no, most of them were stolen from other people. They were other people's wives, forcibly taken away. And this man is worshipped as a purnavatara!
No, I don't want to be in this company at all. I am perfectly happy just to be an ordinary human being like you. Don't put me in difficulties. If I have to be a messiah, then I have to walk on water.
Jesus must have known where the rocks are in the lake of Galilee; otherwise there is no other way of walking on water. Then I will have to manage miracles, because without miracles, who is going to accept me as a messiah?
I have a friend who is now in Bangladesh. Before the partition of India into India and Pakistan, he was in Calcutta. He was known as a man of miracles, but to me he was a friend, and he used to tell me how he managed his miracles. Just for example I will tell you one miracle that he managed, and became famous all over Bengal as the greatest living miracle man. What was the miracle?
Very simple. On the station at Howrah, he gets into the express train going to Bombay. The ticket collector comes. He inquires of others, he also inquires of this man who is wearing the green robe of the Sufis; he is a Mohammedan.... Respectfully the ticket collector asks him, "Baba, where are you going? Will you be kind enough to show me your ticket?"
He becomes angry. He says, "Nobody asks me for tickets. I have been traveling my whole life - you are the first man who has shown this disrespect towards me."
But the ticket collector is adamant, and he says, "I will not allow you to travel without a ticket. I was asking you respectfully, and now there is no question of respect - you simply show me the ticket, otherwise get off the train."
The baba says, "I will not get off the train unless you drag me off." The ticket collector drags him off the train.
He stands there on the platform, and says, "Now I will see how this train moves." With his closed eyes he is standing there on the platform. The guard shows the flag, the stationmaster shows the flag; the driver is trying everything, but the train is not moving. The engineer looks into every possible thing; everything is all right, there is nothing wrong, but the train is not moving. And a crowd has gathered around the baba. All the passengers have come out and they have started saying that it is because of the insult to a religious man the train will not move. One man shouts that the train will not move unless the ticket collector touches the feet of baba, asks his forgiveness, takes him back into the train respectfully, and promises him never to ask another Sufi with the green robe for a ticket.
Even the stationmaster says to the ticket collector, "What to do?"
The ticket collector says, "I was absolutely legal; why should I touch his feet?" And he is a brahmin; for a brahmin to touch the feet of a Mohammedan.... "I will not touch his feet. And why should I let him on the train? That is an illegal act; I'm allowing him to travel without a ticket and promising him not only that he can travel without a ticket, others of his kind can also travel without a ticket. Then what is my purpose here? My purpose is to catch people who are without a ticket and throw them off the train."
But the driver comes running, the engineer comes running, and the guard comes running, and they all say, "Nothing can be done if the baba is against it. The train will not move."
And thousands of people who are traveling in the train, they catch hold of the ticket collector and they say, "You will have to touch his feet; you have insulted a great man."
And the crowd is furious, so angry, so bloodthirsty, that the ticket collector, a poor ticket collector, touches the feet of the baba, takes him respectfully onto the train, apologizes and says, "I will never ask any Sufi traveling in the train for a ticket. Please forgive me."
The baba opens his eyes and says, "Okay, now the train can move." And the train moves.
He told me, "That made me famous all over Bengal. But the miracle was very simple: the ticket collector, the driver and the engineer - three people were bribed. How can the train move?"
I cannot do miracles; miracles have never happened. Nature never changes its rules. It is indifferent to you, whether you are Jesus, Moses, Krishna, Buddha. Who you are, it does not matter; nature is impartial, fair, it simply follows its own law. That law I call dharma, tao, logos. And a true religious man falls in harmony with the law of nature. The person who is trying to do the miracle is trying to deceive nature, deceive you. He is not in harmony with nature; he is trying to prove himself above nature, super-natural.
There is nothing above nature; nature is all and all. It contains godliness in it. You cannot do anything against it. But you can befool the fools who are waiting to be befooled, who are anxious to be befooled. Because they are so empty, they want to cling to someone who is powerful, so powerful that he can ride over natural laws, so powerful that he can go against the current of nature.
I am not teaching you to go against nature, I am teaching you to go with it. You dissolve yourself in it - in a total condition of letgo. Let nature take over.
Don't try to go upstream, let the stream take you wherever it is going; don't fight with it. I teach you non-fight, I teach you harmony. And to me, this is the greatest miracle: to be in harmony with nature, totally in harmony with nature. When it is morning, you are with it; when it is evening, you are with it. When it is pleasure, you are with it; when it is pain, you are with it. You are with it in life, you are with it in death. Not for a single moment on any point do you differ from it.
This total agreement, this absolute agreement, creates the religious man.
BISHOP JENKINS FROM DURHAM HAS BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED BY LORD HAILSHAM, THE LORD CHANCELLOR FOR ADMINISTRATION OF BRITAIN'S COURTS. IN ADDITION, A MEMBER OF THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT HAS CALLED THE BISHOP "A DANGEROUS JOKER"
BECAUSE THE BISHOP HAD CHARACTERIZED THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST AS MERELY "A CONJURING TRICK WITH BONES," AND HAD SAID, "MY FAITH IN GOD FORCES ME TO RAISE THESE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VIRGIN BIRTH AND THE RESURRECTION." LORD HAILSHAM COULD NOT SUPPORT THIS THINKING.
The first thing to understand about the resurrection - it never happened, because in the first place Jesus never died on the cross; it was an arrangement.
Judea was under the Romans, and Pontius Pilate was the governor general, the viceroy of Rome in Judea. Pontius Pilate had nothing against Jesus. At the most he thought him a somewhat hot- blooded young man, which is very natural; that's how a young man should be. But he had not committed any crime, he had not induced anybody else to commit any crime; and to put him on the cross, which is the ultimate punishment you give to murderers, seems to be absolutely illogical.
And he was a cultured man. He tried to persuade the high priest of the Jews that, "I don't see what crime this man has committed. Even if he says that he is the son of God, let him say it. Nobody is harmed by his statement. At the most he is a little crazy - but just to be a little crazy is not enough for crucifixion. If he says he is the messiah for whom you all have been waiting for centuries.... If you think he is not the messiah, don't accept him as the messiah; but he has every right to say what he thinks about himself. He cannot force himself upon you so that you have to accept him as the messiah. He is not killing people or saying of those who will not accept him, 'I will kill them.'" And to me Pontius Pilate was perfectly right.
So he and a rich follower of Jesus conspired the whole plot. He wanted this young man to be freed.
In fact, he had fallen in a certain kind of love for the young man, because he had gone in disguise to many of his meetings, listened, and loved what he was saying. And more than that, he loved the way he was saying it, the authority with which he was saying it. He had heard many orators; he himself was a great orator. Jesus was not an orator. He was saying simple things, but they touched something in the heart. Pontius Pilate was influenced and impressed.
His wife also had gone to listen to Jesus - of course in disguise, because viceroys and their wives cannot go to listen to a poor carpenter's son and sit with the ignorant, ordinary people. His wife was also very much impressed, impressed just by this man's very style. He had something charismatic, something magnetic, so that one even wanted to believe in his illogical statements. He had a certain kind of hypnotic influence. Don't be afraid of the word hypnotic. The word hypnos simply means sleep. And when I say that he had a hypnotic influence, that simply means that while people were listening to him their reason went to sleep. They could listen to him without their head coming in.
Pontius Pilate even called him to the viceroy's palace before the crucifixion, to persuade him that "there is no need to use these words, kingdom of God, because they create confusion. You are talking of the kingdom of God that is after death, somewhere in the heavens. But the politicians become afraid - kingdom of God! - and say you are gathering people to conquer the kingdom of God. It seems that you are using a code language and you are trying.... That's what the priest is trying to tell me" - the viceroy told him - "that 'He really is a revolutionary politician and he is trying to take over the country from the Romans.'" The priest said it just to influence the viceroy and convince the viceroy that the man was dangerous politically too, he should be crucified.
Pontius Pilate said to Jesus, "You drop these words. You can simply use...'I'm talking about the spiritual dimension, I have nothing to do with politics and the kingdom.' And why do you unnecessarily say that you are the son of God - and the only begotten son of God? This creates jealousy in the rabbis, in the priests, that you are trying to pose yourself higher than them. They are only rabbis, and you are the only begotten son of God! So you are creating unnecessary enemies.
Drop these words; say plainly what you want to say to people."
But Jesus was as much a fanatic as he was a nice man. They are not contradictory qualities; one can be a very nice fellow and yet, about certain things, very fanatical. And Jesus was very fanatical.
Whatever he was saying, he was not ready to listen to anything against it. At the last, Pilate felt that this young man was impossible. At the last he said, "I only ask one question: what is truth, about which you are continuously talking? What is truth?" Now that is a question which nobody can answer - nobody who knows, nobody who has ever tried, a little bit, to search for the truth.
Socrates said, "I do not know what is the truth." Don't be deceived by the words.
Bodhidharma has said, "I do not know even myself." Don't be deceived by the words. These people have a certain glimpse. At least one thing they understand perfectly well, that there are things which cannot be said and talked about.
Jesus remained silent, he did not answer. But this is his answer; silence is his answer. But for Pontius Pilate - a man sophisticated, cultured, educated, a man of words - this was not an answer.
It simply proved to him that Jesus does not know. He agreed with the priest; but behind the curtain he also agreed with a disciple of Jesus, who was a very rich man - because only a very rich man could have been able to reach the viceroy.
And this was a simple arrangement - that the crucifixion should happen on Friday, that it should be delayed as much as possible, so almost on Friday afternoon.... The way the Jews used to crucify people was a very torturous method, torturous in the sense that it took sometimes forty-eight hours for the person to die... because it was not like an electric chair, or a gas chamber of Adolf Hitler where within seconds thousands of people evaporate. It was a very crude method: nailing a person to a post. Now blood will ooze drop by drop, it will take time.
So this was the conspiracy - that by the evening, when the sun sets, he will not be dead. He was only on the cross for six hours. Nobody has ever died on the Jewish cross in six hours. Twenty-four hours, thirty-six hours, forty-eight hours, people have even taken sixty hours to die. And what was the strategy? ... Because Saturday is the Sabbath, everything stops for the Jews; no work can be done. And the body of Jesus had to be brought down from the cross after six hours, because the sun was setting; now all work stopped. So he was perfectly alive; he had just lost a little blood. He never died on the cross.
So the bishop in the first place knows nothing. He is saying, "I cannot trust God conjuring with the bones and doing this miracle of resurrection." How can you conjure with bones? He knows nothing about the actuality, the facts. But at least he is an honest man. He risked his bishophood. I respect him for his honesty, but he is stupid also. He does not know the real story behind the facade of the resurrection.
Jesus is taken down from the cross, put into a cave, with a big rock as a door so he cannot escape - because the people who brought him down knew perfectly well that he is alive. Even in The Bible it is reported that one soldier poked his sword into his side and blood came out. Blood does not come out of a dead man; he was just making sure that he was alive. And in the night he is removed from there. Now it will be only on the Monday morning that the cave door will be opened - and the cave was found empty.
Jesus escaped from Jerusalem. At last something of sanity has come to his mind; he knew perfectly well that it is foolish... even his own disciples, when he was being crucified, had escaped; nobody was there except one disciple. All were afraid they may be caught and thought to be part of Jesus' conspiracy against Judaism and the Roman Empire.
At the last supper, when Jesus took his departure from his apostles... to me they are just foolish people. If they had any understanding they would have prevented Jesus: "What is the need to go to Jerusalem when you know that they are going to crucify you there tomorrow?" It was known all over that if he comes to this festival they are not going to leave him free: "He has done enough damage to the prestige of the priests, rabbis, and the established religion. Now to allow him more is dangerous, he will become more and more powerful. It is better to finish him right now. Right now he has no power, no following, nothing much to speak of."
But these twelve apostles simply allow him to go. Not a single apostle tells him, "There is no need.
We need you alive, and we would like you to live as long as possible so that what you want to happen can happen." No, they were just dumb guys. I feel sorry for Jesus. Buddha was far more fortunate; he had really great giants as his disciples. Lao Tzu was fortunate. Jesus is the most unfortunate in this whole company of messiahs, avataras, tirthankaras - most unfortunate. Fishermen - what can they do and what do they understand?
Do you know what they asked him at the last supper? They accepted the fact that he was going to be crucified. They asked him the question, "In the kingdom of God, of course you will be on the right hand side of God; what will be the position of us twelve fellows who have followed you?" In fact, a very Jewish question: one wants to make sure of one's position, where one is going to be, who will be second, the third, the fourth. And they were very ignorant people.
Jesus said, "At least tonight, when I am going to be caught, don't fall asleep. At least tonight, remain awake!" And hour after hour he is going to pray in the garden of Gethsemane; he will go into a corner to pray. What is he praying? He is praying, "God give me strength, that I can pass through this fire test that is ahead of me."
Just as I have always told you, every belief is carrying its doubt underneath. He knows perhaps he will be crucified and there will be no miracle to save him; perhaps there is no God. But he goes on praying, and hour after hour he comes back to see the disciples. Whenever he comes back, they are all fast asleep, snoring. They could not even remain awake one night. And the next day the master is going to die.
They could not even sacrifice one night's sleep - people sacrifice it sitting before a television, looking at a Hollywood movie, any crap - and they could not remain awake. And why was he insisting? - because that's what he was telling them their whole life: "Be aware, be awake. Get out of this sleep in which you are walking and living. You are not awake; you are almost like a sleepwalker. On the last night...." But to try on the last night also seems to be unintelligent; now there is no time to teach these people how to remain awake.
All that he does is, he comes again and wakes them and shouts at them and tells them, "What kind of disciples are you? You cannot remain awake and I am going to be crucified, and they are coming to catch me at any moment." And when he comes after one hour.... So he moved the whole night between the God that he thought is going to do the miracle, and the disciples that he thought are his apostles, who will spread the golden word to the very corners of the earth. And both are bogus.
Neither is there a God who is listening to his prayers, nor are there any disciples who are listening to his teaching of remaining awake.
He said to them, "When I am crucified, of course you will not be there."
One disciple said, "I will be there, master."
And he said, "No. Even before the cock crows in the morning you will have denied me three times."
And that's how it happened. He was caught, the people of the priests took hold of him - they had found a stranger amongst them. They asked him, "Who are you? Are you with this madman who thinks he is the son of God?"
He said, "No, I don't know who this man is. I am a stranger in this city. And seeing the light" - because they were all carrying torches - "I have just followed to find some place. I don't know the city and its whereabouts."
And Jesus had said that time, "Remember that the cock has not crowed yet." And this happened three times. Before the first cock crowed to signal the morning, the disciple had denied him three times, saying that he did not know this man at all. These cowards, they had no idea.... But Jesus, seeing the situation on the cross, hanging for six hours, must have considered the whole situation.
He escaped from Jerusalem. He lived to the age of one hundred and twelve years in Kashmir.
So there is no question of resurrection, because in the first place the crucifixion did not materialize.
And in Kashmir, as I told you, there is a grave of Jesus by the side of the grave of Moses. No Christian bothers... because that grave will endanger your belief in resurrection. On the grave it is written clearly - of course Jesus is not the name mentioned there, because Jesus is the Greek translation of Joshua; Joshua is his real name - that, "Joshua came here, lived here to the ripe age of one hundred and twelve years, died here. And in his memory we have changed the name of the place." The village where the graves are is called Pahalgam; it means the village of the shepherd.
But he remained silent. Only one disciple, Thomas, had followed him there; he was his most beloved disciple. He sent Thomas to South India, the other corner from Kashmir. And you will be surprised to know that Indian Christianity is the oldest Christianity in the world. The Vatican is not that old. The popes came into existence after Jesus' so-called crucifixion had happened - three hundred years afterwards. But Thomas started working in South India, and must have been the only authentic disciple amongst the whole lot.
Thomas' body is still preserved. That is the only body preserved like this in the whole world. And science is absolutely at a loss to know how the body is preserved, because no chemicals have been used. The body is in Goa. Every year it is taken out from the church and remains open for one day for the visitors to see it. It has not deteriorated; it seems as if he has just gone to sleep. I have seen Thomas. Two thousand years have passed, and he is almost in a deep sleep. This man seems to be the only one, amongst the disciples of Jesus, who had something.
Now, in India there are yoga methods, prescribed by Patanjali five thousand years ago, that if you practice them for at least thirty years - certain breathing exercises which can purify you so much. And those breathing exercises are such that slowly slowly your breathing starts stopping for moments. And suddenly there is no breath going in or coming out. You are, more than ever, in that tremendous silence where even breathing is no more a disturbance. Then those gaps become bigger: minutes, hours, days. And there have been many people in India and many people in Egypt, which borrowed the science from India....
In Egypt one person lived, buried in the ground, for forty years. He was buried in 1880, and he told the people who were present there, and the government, "For forty years I should not be disturbed.
My grave should be opened in 1920." In forty years almost all the people who were present died.
Governments changed, and you know in forty years what can happen to a file.... Everybody forgot about the man; forty years is a long time.
It was just by coincidence that somebody, doing some research, found one old newspaper describing this incident. He informed the government. The grave was opened, the man was pulled out. They thought he was dead, because he was not breathing. And medical science knows only one thing:
if you are not breathing then you are dead. His heart was not pulsating, his breath was not there, his pulse was not there. The doctors said he was dead. But within seconds he opened his eyes; he started breathing, his pulse came back, his heartbeat came back. For forty years he had stopped his breathing. If breathing can be consciously stopped, without enforcement, with relaxation - then forty years or four hundred years or four thousand years does not make any difference.
Thomas must have learned it in South India; and he was very much interested in learning. He lived like a brahmin - you will be surprised. He used clothes that in South India the brahmins used, just a wraparound lungi. He used the Hindu thread. He had his hair cut in the Hindu style, leaving a small part just on the seventh chakra, with the Hindu skull sikha. He walked on sandals made of wood - Hindu brahmins use wooden sandals; it is a difficult thing, one needs training to walk on them. He lived absolutely like a Hindu, just in order to understand every possibility that Hinduism had developed, particularly the yogic methods. He must have practiced the breathing exercises which can keep the body without any deterioration even after death.
So the bishop is courageous, but ignorant. He knows nothing about Jesus and his crucifixion. One thing he says, that he cannot believe in the virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus - no sane man can believe that. Christians think it is the holy ghost who made the poor girl pregnant. Strange... I would like to say some unholy ghost must have played the trick with poor Joseph, the father of Jesus. Joseph is being betrayed. And if it is done by that 'holy ghost', then the holy ghost should be punished, because he made Jesus a bastard. But Christianity is based on these things: resurrection, virgin birth, walking on water, raising the dead back to life, curing the sick, the blind.
The bishop says faith in God is enough. On that point he is absolutely wrong. What grounds have you for faith? These are the grounds, that's why Christianity continues to emphasize that the birth was from a virgin girl; that after the crucifixion Jesus was restored by God's miracle; that he walked on water; that he turned water into wine and he turned stones into bread. These things Christianity cannot drop, because if you drop these things - and they have to be dropped because they are all nonsense and false - then what ground is left to have faith in God? That's where the bishop is wrong. How can you have any belief? What is the reason to believe?
Then there is only one possibility that I have been teaching you: you meditate.
Meditation does not require faith in God as a necessary step - in fact it is a hindrance. Meditation simply wants you not to begin with any belief, because any belief can become a hypnotizing factor. If you believe too much, and if you go on believing in a certain thing, you will start hallucinating about it.
Christians have seen Christ, Hindus have seen Krishna, Buddhists have seen Buddha - and there is nobody to be seen. It is all their projection. Their faith creates the image and then the image strengthens the faith. That becomes a vicious circle. Then you have more faith because you have seen Jesus; then Jesus becomes more alive, then your faith is even deeper; then Jesus starts talking to you.... Your faith becomes absolute. But it is just a mind game, you're just playing with your own mind.
Meditation is without any faith, without any belief, entering into silence to see what is there.
There is no need to assume beforehand what is there. If you have assumed beforehand what is there, you will find it. That's the trouble. If you think Jesus is there, you will find him. Jesus says, "Believe and I am there." Belief creates the phenomenon.
Meditation is the most scientific method. It needs no belief, no faith - just inquiry. And the inquiry, to be scientific, has to be without belief.
I am reminded of a Hindu professor, Dr. Bannerji. He is world famous for his work on reincarnation.
He is head of the department of parapsychology in the university of Rajasthan, in Jaipur. He came to see me because he has been researching and meeting people who can give evidence that there have been past lives. I asked him only one question: "Before you inquire anything of me, I have every right to be acquainted with you. And this question will do. I don't want to know what is your name and your degrees, that is not your real introduction. My question will be your introduction to me, and then you can ask anything you want." I asked him a very simple thing, "What are you trying to do? What is this whole research for?"
He said, "I want to prove that there is a chain of births, that the soul goes from one birth to another birth to another birth."
I said, "Stop now. I will not answer any of your questions. You say, 'I want to prove....' It means you have already accepted the fact, and all that you want now is evidence. As far as you are concerned, you have accepted the fact that life goes on changing forms, death is not a real death; it is only a changing of the clothes, a changing of the body, a changing of the house. Your Hindu mind wants to prove scientifically a Hindu belief. Certainly you will find evidence - because you are looking for it.
No Christian is trying to look for it, no Mohammedan is trying to look for it, no Jew is trying to look for it. Why are only Hindus concerned? What business is it of yours? Have you any remembrance of your past life?"
He said, "No, I don't have any remembrance."
Then I said, "What are you trying to prove? You yourself don't know. You must have been before...
you don't remember, so it is not based on any experience - just a belief. Now the belief is there and you are trying to put a scientific cover over it." That's what people go on doing. They start with a belief; that's a wrong beginning.
Start fresh: a clean slate with no belief, with no dogma, with no faith. Then there is a possibility that you may find what is the truth. And the truth is neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian. And the truth is not in The Bible, nor in the Koran, nor in the Gita.
The truth that you will find - you will be surprised - is nowhere written, cannot be written. It is impossible to write it. It has never been uttered by anybody and it is not going to be uttered by anybody. Only fingers have been pointing to the moon, saying nothing. And you should not get attached to the finger, because the finger is not the moon. You have to forget the finger completely and look at the moon. And the moon has nothing to do with the finger.
And the bishop says that his faith in God is enough. No, it will not be enough. His faith was based on those beliefs that he has now criticized. Soon, his faith will be gone. He has taken the foundation of the house; the house will fall soon.
But just look at these religious people. Because he was honest and said what he felt, he is expelled, thrown out; he is no longer a bishop, now he has become a joker. Just the day before he was a bishop; now he is a joker. Just see how people change. They don't want you to be honest. If he had continued to say what he had been saying, and kept all that he has now said to himself, he would have remained a bishop. Perhaps one day he would have become the pope. They all are carrying the same nonsense. Now, the chancellor who has thrown him out of the bishophood, he will also be carrying the same thing. But people are not honest. They don't open their heart. And that should be the basic quality of a religious man.