Ready-to-wear Religion at the Secondhand Store
ARE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY ALL OF OUR PREVIOUS IDEAS ABOUT RELIGION?
There is no other way to be religious. All that you have heard about religion, read about religion, has to be totally dropped. Unless you are clean, with no writing on your consciousness, you will never know what religion is. The so-called religions are doing just the opposite. And you can see the result.
The whole world is divided into religions: somebody is going to the synagogue, somebody is going to the temple, somebody else is going to the church. But do you find any religiousness anywhere?
Every child is brought up, conditioned, in a certain religion. It is one of the biggest crimes against humanity. Nothing can be a bigger crime than to pollute the mind of an innocent child with ideas which are going to become hindrances in his discovery of life. The moment you want to discover something, you have to be absolutely unprejudiced. You cannot discover religion as a Mohammedan, as a Christian, as a Hindu - no. These are the ways to prevent you from discovering religion.
Every society, until now, has been trying to indoctrinate every child. Before the child becomes capable of asking questions he is being given answers. Do you see the stupidity of it? The child has not asked the question and you are providing him with an answer. What you are in reality doing is killing the very possibility of the question arising. You have filled his mind with the answer. And unless he has his own question, how can he have his own answer? The quest has to be sincerely his. It cannot be borrowed, it cannot be inherited.
But this nonsense has continued for centuries. The priest is interested, the politician is interested, the parents are interested in making something of you before you can discover who you are. They are afraid that if you discover who you are you will be a rebel, you will be dangerous to the vested interests. Then you will be an individual, living in his own right, not living a borrowed life.
They are so afraid, that before the child becomes capable of asking, inquiring, they start stuffing his mind with all kinds of nonsense. The child is helpless. He naturally believes in the mother, in the father, and of course he believes in the priest in whom the father and mother believe. The great phenomenon of doubt has not arisen yet. And it is one of the most precious things in life, to doubt, because unless you doubt you cannot discover.
You have to sharpen your doubting forces so that you can cut through all rubbish and you can ask questions which nobody can answer. Only your own quest, inquiry, will help you to come to the realization of them.
The religious question is not something which can be answered by somebody else. Nobody else can love on your behalf. Nobody else can live on your behalf. You have to live your life, and you have to seek and search the fundamental questions of life. And unless you discover yourself there is no joy, no ecstasy. If God is just given to you, readymade, it is not worth anything, it is valueless.
But that's how it is being done.
What you call religious ideas are not religious, but only superstitions carried down the ages - for so long that just their ancientness has made them appear like truth.
Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography, My Struggle, makes many significant statements. The man was mad, but sometimes mad people say things which sane people are afraid to say. One of his most important statements is: "Any lie can become truth if repeated often, emphasized again and again, told by everybody from every corner." You go to the school and you hear about God and prayer. In the home you hear about God and prayer. You go to the temple and you hear about God and prayer.
So many people... and just a small child against this whole mob.
It is impossible for him to doubt - all these people are wrong? And these are not the only people.
Their parents, and their parents, for thousands of years, have been believing in these truths. They all cannot be wrong, "And I, a small child against this whole humanity...." He cannot gather courage.
He starts repressing any possibility of doubt. And everybody else helps to repress doubt, because "doubt is from the devil. Doubt is a great, perhaps the greatest, sin. Belief is virtue. Believe and you will find; doubt, and you have missed on the very first step."
The truth is just the opposite. Believe and you will never find, and whatsoever you find will be nothing but the projection of your own belief - it will not be truth. What has truth to do with your believing?
Doubt, and doubt totally, because doubt is a cleansing process. It takes out all junk from your mind.
It makes you again innocent, again the child which has been destroyed by the parents, by the priests, by the politicians, by the pedagogues. You have to discover that child again. You have to start from that point. Hence, my whole effort here is to destroy all your so-called religious ideas.
It will hurt you because those religious ideas have become so intimate to you that you have forgotten they are not your discoveries, they are not your experiences. You have not lived them; you have not even loved them. Somebody else has forced you to believe in them, and whosoever has done it has committed an inhuman act against you.
I am not saying that those people are knowingly doing it. They are themselves victims of the same process; their parents did it to them, their teachers did it to them. So I am not saying to start feeling angry against them. They did it thinking it is good for you... but just by their thinking, anything is not going to become good - just by their thinking. They have been trying to help you, but they don't know that there are things in which a person should be left alone; only then can he discover. If you try to help him you are crippling him.
Don't try to force anybody to take your help while he can manage on his own. Don't force anybody to see through your eyes when he has eyes. And at least, please, don't place your specs on anybody's eyes; your numbers are different. You will drive that person blind, you will distort his vision. But not only specs are being put on you, people are putting their eyes on top of your eyes... and they are all doing it for your good, for your sake. And after twenty years, thirty years of continuous conditioning, you start forgetting that you had never asked the question in the first place.
I am reminded of a very creative person, Gertrude Stein. She was dying; her friends were around her. Suddenly she opened her eyes and asked, "What is the answer?" And the friends looked puzzled. Had she gone mad just before death? Had she lost her reason? What kind of thing was she asking - "What is the answer?"
One of them said, "But you have not asked the question, so how can we say what the answer is?"
So she said, "Okay then: tell me, what is the question?" And she died.
To me it is of tremendous significance. It relates to almost every human being. You have forgotten that you had not asked the question, and the answer has already been forced into you. And of course it is a simple process of conditioning: go on telling the person, go on telling the person the same thing again and again. Soon the person starts repeating it like a gramophone record. And the person has forgotten that he had not asked the question.
Perhaps at the very end Stein discovered her fresh childhood. It happens to many people when they are dying. The circle completes, they come to the same point from where they had begun. So she is asking, "What is the answer?" because only answers were given. And nobody had bothered about the question. And when now, at this last moment, somebody asked, "But first tell us what the question is" - she becomes aware... but now it is too late. And the answers have been so much, so heavy, such a load on the being, that now to ask an authentic question also has become impossible.
So she asks, "Okay, if a question is needed, then I ask you, 'What is the question?'"
To me, this small incident is immensely significant. It is everybody's life. You talk about God, you talk about the soul, you talk about heaven, hell, but have you ever thought - are these questions?
Are you really interested in God? What interest can you have in God? On what grounds can you have God become your quest?
I was born in a Jaina family. In Jainism God is not believed in; there is no God, as creator. Because the conditioning of Jainism does not enforce the idea of God on its children, no Jaina child, or old Jaina ever asks, "Who created the world?" ... Because they have been conditioned, from the very beginning, that the world exists from eternity to eternity; there is nobody who is a creator, and there is no need. Hence the question does not arise.
The Buddhist never asks the question, "What is God, where is God?" because Buddhism does not believe in God - so the child has been conditioned in that way. When you ask about God you think that it is your question - it is not. You may have been born in a Hindu family, in a Christian family, in a Jewish family, and they have conditioned your mind that there is a God. They have given a certain image of God, certain ideas about God. And they have created you with such fear that to doubt is dangerous.
A small, tiny kid is being made afraid of the eternal hell where you will be thrown into fire, alive, and you will burn but you will not die. Naturally the doubt does not seem to be so significant to take such risk. And you are motivated that if you believe, simply believe, all pleasures, all joys of life are yours.
Believe, and you are on the side of God; doubt, and you are on the side of the devil.
The small child is bound to buy whatsoever crap you are giving him. He is afraid. He is afraid to be alone in the night, in the house, and you are talking about eternal hell: "You go on falling and falling into darkness and deeper darkness, and there is no end to it, and you can never come out of it."
Naturally the child simply shrinks from doubting, becomes so afraid that it is not worth it. And belief is so simple. Nothing is expected of you - just to believe in God, the son, the holy ghost... just to believe that Jesus is the son of God, and the messiah... and he has come to redeem the whole of humanity... and he will redeem you too.
Why not be redeemed so cheaply? You are not asked much. Just believe, and everything will be settled in your favor. So why should you choose doubt? You should naturally choose belief. And this happens at such a small age - and then you go on growing, and the belief and the conditioning and the ideas and the philosophy all go on top of it - that it is very difficult to dig and find out that there was a day when you were also full of doubt. But the doubt has been crushed, put out of sight. There was a day when you were reluctant to believe, but you have been persuaded. All kinds of rewards have been placed before you.
You can persuade a little child just by giving him a toy - and you have given him the whole paradise.
If you have succeeded in persuading him to believe, you have not done a great miracle. It is very simple exploitation. Perhaps you are doing it unknowingly; you have also been passed through the same process. And once you close the doors of doubt you have closed the doors of reason, thinking, asking, inquiring. You are no more really a human being. The doors of doubt closed you are just a zombie, hypnotized, conditioned; persuaded out of fear, out of greed, to believe in things which no normal child is going to believe if all these things are not arranged. And once you stop doubting and thinking, then you can believe anything whatsoever. Then there is no question.
The politician wants it, because if you are a believer in a certain religion you are gullible. That shows your gullibility. It is enough indication. If you go to the church, it is enough indication that you are not a man who thinks, who questions, who argues, who will not take anything unless it is proved logically, rationally, scientifically. You go to the synagogue, you go to the mosque - the politician is happy. He wants everybody to go to the synagogue, to the mosque, to the church... it does not matter where you go, but go - because they all do the same.
The basic structure, the strategy, is not different. Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jew, it does not matter, because the basic strategy is exactly the same: close the doors of doubt completely, don't take any chances, don't leave any question marks in the person, and fill his mind with all kinds of beliefs. If you look at beliefs you will be surprised. People have believed any nonsense.
If you are a Jaina you will believe all Jaina nonsense - the questions simply will not arise in you. My grandfather loved me very much for the simple reason that I was mischievous. Even in his old age he was mischievous, so we had a good friendship. He used to take me to Jaina monks just to create a disturbance there. He enjoyed it very much. He would not say anything because he was an old man, a respected citizen, but he knew that if I was there, it would be enough. He would sit as if he was for the monk, but he gave me indications, "You can start... this is a good time."
Now, Jainas don't believe in a creator God, so you cannot ask any question about God. There is no question, there is no God. But then they have to believe in other things. They believe in souls.
I used to ask them, "How many souls are there in the world? Are they increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?"
Now, the Jaina monk cannot say they are increasing, because from where...? Who is creating them?
There is no creator. No creation is happening. They cannot decrease because where will they go?
They cannot go out of the universe because wherever they go it will be the universe. And he could not say that they remain the same, although that was the answer given in Jaina scriptures, that the number of souls remains the same.
But it was not easy with me, because then the question was, "How many? If you know that it remains the same, you must know the exact number; otherwise on what grounds do you say it remains exactly the same? One may have popped up; one may have popped out. You have to give me the exact number." Now, the number is not given in any scripture, and they cannot give the number for the simple reason that on the earth the population has been increasing. There are more and more people, more and more people. And Jainas believe everything has a soul: a tree, a bird, a fish - all have souls. "When you know so much about souls, why don't you know the number?
And you say Mahavira was omniscient: he knew everything. Could he not have told you the exact number? The problem would have been solved forever."
The monk would become restless, would like me to be shut up. But I said, "Nobody can shut me up.
Either you answer or you recognize the fact that you don't know the answer. Either you satisfy my question or you simply say, 'I'm sorry, I don't know the answer.' Then be true to yourself at least. You preach truth. Can't you say, 'I don't know the numbers exactly'?" That too they cannot say because that disturbs the omniscience of Mahavira... that why did he miss this point, which is significant?
Now, Jainas believe in the eternal journey of a soul. If you do good karmas you go on becoming better - that is, you go on reaching higher stages. So they have divided things: the tree has only a one-dimensional life, the spider has a two-dimensional life, the bird has a three-dimensional life, the tiger has a four-dimensional life, man has a five-dimensional life. And man is the highest evolution of consciousness.
I used to ask them, "When a man dies, is he born again as a man or can he also be born as a woman? Is he always born into the human world or can he be born as a tree, as a bird, as a horse, or anything?" Now, Jainas believe that if your karmas are very bad you can slip back: you can become a dog, you can become a fish, you can become a cat, you can become a tree.
I used to ask these monks, "Have you come across any factual evidence of somebody remembering that in his past life he was a tree, a tiger, a dog? Do you remember yourself what you were in your past life? And be true, because you are sitting in the temple of Mahavira, in the temple of truth. If you say anything untrue, remember - eternal hell. So if you don't know, simply say, 'I don't know.'"
And that is the most difficult thing in India for a monk, a mahatma, who is worshipped by thousands and thousands of people: to say about anything, "I don't know." And I would make it clear: "If you lie, then remember, you will fall back. The statue of Mahavira is there behind you, a witness. And this temple...." And these people, of course they have sacrificed everything, so they have closed the doors of doubt completely. They believe that to lie in the temple, before Mahavira... it is dangerous.
So they cannot lie, and they cannot say that they have experienced anything, or they have met anybody. And they would be just dumb.
Jainas have a theory... because they had to explain, Mahavira himself had to explain because the population was continuously growing - from where are these souls coming? Animals are growing, life in all forms is growing, so from where are these souls coming? So Mahavira had a hypothesis.
He called it nigod. Nigod means that there is a dark womb of the universe, infinite, full of infinite potential souls. So whenever a soul comes to the point from where it can grow, it comes out from nigod. Now, look at the cunningness of the whole thing. He makes it infinite because if you make if finite then soon it will be empty. Then the problem will arise again, from where? Now the womb is empty - so he makes it infinite.
But he forgets that there can always be people like me. Of course I was not in front of him; otherwise things would have been clear, then and there - because in existence, two things cannot be infinite.
It is such a simple mathematical thing. In existence, only one thing can be infinite: the universe. If it is infinite then no other thing can be infinite, because two infinites will make each other finite; their boundaries will meet. Somewhere they will come together and there will be a boundary, and that boundary will be the finiteness.
I was not there but I could torture these Jaina monks: "If nigod is infinite and you say the universe is infinite - so you believe in two infinites? Is it possible mathematically? geometrically?" It was difficult.
Two infinites are not possible. Any person who has any sense of mathematics can understand that two finites are perfectly okay, a hundred finites are perfectly okay, but two infinites? - impossible!
Only one can be infinite. The other is bound to become the boundary. Somewhere millions of light years away... but it doesn't matter; the boundary is the boundary.
And I used to ask these Jaina monks, "From where did these souls come into nigod? Suddenly they are there, for no reason. Why? How did they manage to enter it?" Every religion, basically, is bound to be in the same difficulties. When fundamental questions are there every religion is idiotic. If you don't ask the fundamentals, then they are very clever in answering your questions. But when the fundamentals come they are all invented.
From where did this nigod come, this universal, infinite womb? And from where have these souls come into it? And they would say, "They are just there." But that is not an answer. What evil action have they committed? They have never been out, so there has been no possibility to commit any action, good or bad. So why are they suffering in nigod? And what more suffering can there be than in that dark hole? For millions and millions of years they are there. Why are they suffering?
They have not committed... they cannot accept that they have committed any bad thing, any evil doing - because to do, first you have to be in the universe. To act, you have to be. They are only potentially there. They are not really there, they are only seeds. So how can there be bitter fruits, or sweet fruits, from the seeds which have never sprouted? And you don't show us the reason why they have not sprouted.
And then suddenly a few souls become mature... what is the arithmetic of it? Who becomes mature first, and why? There must be some reason that these souls A,B,C, become mature today, and tomorrow X,Y,Z, will become mature - but why today ABC, not M? They are all similar. Or do you recognize any differences between them? They cannot recognize any differences, because for difference a thing has to be actual. Just a potential - there cannot be any differences.
Those Jaina monks would perspire and they would say, "Whenever you come...! You are a strange type of boy. These questions nobody asks. I have been traveling all over India, but whenever I come to your village I feel a certain fear... that you are bound to come. And I have told your grandfather, 'Don't bring this boy.' But he is also a strange man; he never comes alone, he always brings you."
One monk then tried a trick. He would deliver his talks in the schooltime, when I would be away in school. But my grandfather was not to be cheated. He would come to the school and he would ask the headmaster, "I need him urgently today."
I would be there, and the monk would say, "Is the school closed so soon today?"
I would say, "It is not closed, my grandfather has brought me here - for your blessing. He never leaves me. He is so religious that he wants me to be blessed by you. So can we start now?"
If you give freedom to every child, they can make your popes and your imams and your monks just look absolutely idiotic. They can put them in the category of idiots. Just your children... nothing is needed, if you allow them to doubt. But they are not allowed to doubt. And once you become accustomed to a belief, it slowly slowly poisons your whole being. Then if somebody is attacking it, it feels as if he is attacking you.
That has been my trouble. My whole life I have been attacking. Unless I attack your belief system, your ideology, I cannot be of any help to you; I cannot share myself with you. There is a wall, a thick wall. I can go on shouting; you will not hear me. I have to hit the wall continuously, hammer it, at least make a hole in it, so I can see you, you can see me - face to face. And I can revive what has been taken away from you. I can give you back your innocent childhood, and only from there a real inquiry into truth begins. Only from there religion is possible; otherwise you can only talk about religion.
So, Sheela, it is true. I absolutely want you to become completely free of all jargon that has been given to you by others. And I am not giving you any jargon. So try to understand my different position.
That's why I say this is the first religion of the world.
If you change your religion from Hindu to Christian, or from Christian to Mohammedan, or from Mohammedan to Hindu, nothing will be changing. You will only be changing superficial words, clothes perhaps, at the most; not even your skin will be touched. You will remain the same person.
Of course you will have a new set of beliefs instead of the old set of beliefs. You must have got tired of that old set of beliefs. They were not taking you anywhere. Perhaps... if Christianity does not work, perhaps Hinduism may work, or Mohammedanism may work.
No, I am not giving you a new set of dogmas, beliefs, creeds, ideologies - not at all. My function is totally different. My function is to take away whatever you have got and not to give you anything in its place... because if I take one stone and put another stone in its place, I am even more dangerous than the man who has put the first stone, because the first stone was getting old and you were getting tired of it, and it was not giving you any nourishment. It was a stone, what nourishment can it give to you? You were carrying the burden, and slowly you may have become aware that it is better to throw this stone. But with the new stone a new honeymoon starts. You start thinking perhaps this stone is the right one.
I am not substituting another belief system in you. I am simply destructive. You will be surprised that I am simply destructive - I want to destroy all that has been forced upon you. And there is no need to substitute it with anything. Creativity is your intrinsic potential - I don't have to create it.
Once hindrances are removed you will start growing and flowing. You will start searching on your own, and soon you will gain strength and a new power, because even a small discovery on your own will give you such immense happiness that you cannot conceive it. Just a small discovery on your own and you are a different being, because now truth is born in you. It may be just a seed, but the beginning has begun. You will feel a new thrill, which is not possible if I give you a belief, a readymade dogma, an ideology. So I don't give you anything, I only take away all that you have.
My sole function is to leave you alone to yourself. You have not been left alone by your parents, by your teachers, by your rabbis, by your monks, by your priests... you have not been left alone. Nobody trusted you. I trust you. They all wanted to make something of you, in their own image. I don't want to make you something in my image. want you simply to blossom into your own authenticity. I don't know what it will be, you don't know what it will be. And it is good that we don't know what it will be, because then it is so much of a surprise - as if suddenly you have found an infinite treasure.
I said, I trust you. So I will not give you any belief, because I know you have the absolute capacity to discover life, love, laughter.
Just all the rocks that have been put upon you have to be removed. Don't cling to those rocks. They are your enemies. If you are a Jew, Judaism is your enemy. If you are a Christian, Christianity is your enemy. If you are a Hindu, Hinduism is your enemy. Whoever you are, if you have accepted something without searching, seeking, it is your enemy. Say, "Goodbye to you." Say to the enemy, "I am finished with you. Now I want to be alone. I want to be absolutely clean, unburdened." And you will be amazed: the moment you are unburdened, you can open your wings into the vast existence that has been awaiting and awaiting you.
But you are not coming because the synagogue is holding you, the temple is holding you, the church is holding you; the padre, the priest, the minister won't let you go. The crowd around you is hanging round your neck. They will not let you go out of their fold. To them it is a question of politics, politics of numbers. They are afraid that if people start going on their own, they will lose their power, their numbers. They want you there, to be used as a number, used as a means. And remember, to use any human being as a means for any end whatsoever is one of the greatest sins possible. Every human being is an end unto himself.
My work here is to help you discover your intrinsic possibility, potentiality, your ultimate goal - which is not far away, which is just within you. All that you have to leave is that crap that others have forced upon you.
People think that I am doing the same work as Jesus was doing or Buddha was doing, or Mohammed was doing, or Mahavira was doing; they are absolutely wrong. My work, work as such, is simply mine. What they were doing was just against me, and what I am doing is against them. And it has to be clear to you that I will be hammering on all these people's heads.
Be alert. Don't get hurt unnecessarily, because I have to do it; there is no other way. It is surgical. I have to put you on the operation table and cut out a few things which do not belong to you. But you have accepted them as if they are your limbs, and they are not. They are crippling you. They are killing you.
I want to take away everything that is not authentically yours. Everything... and then the explosion.
WHAT IS THE ANTICHRIST? AND WHO IS IT?
The first thing to understand is: there is no Christ. So how can there be an antichrist? The antichrist is possible only if you accept the idea of christ. 'Christ' is a Greek translation of the Hebrew word messiah. Let us use 'messiah', which will make things clearer.
The Jews have been waiting and hoping for a messiah to come and deliver them from their suffering.
The Jews have suffered the most in the whole world. But there is no reason to feel any pity for them.
They are responsible for it. The day they declared that they are the chosen people of God, they created this long series of suffering, misery, murder, concentration camps, gas chambers.
I have never come across anybody who clearly connects these two things: why the Jews have suffered so much - and they have suffered immensely, incalculably, but nobody seems to connect it with the root cause. The root cause is the declaration by Moses that Jews are the chosen people of God, that they are the master race. Now, you can see, if you declare yourself the master race, above and superior to everybody else, you are creating enemies all around, everywhere.
If Adolf Hitler was so adamant about destroying all the Jews, eliminating them from the world, it is a simple, logical consequence of Moses. Moses says Jews are the chosen people of God, they are the master race. And Adolf Hitler believed that Nordic German Aryans are the chosen people of God, and they are the master race. Now, there cannot be two master races.... One has to vacate, one has to die, one has to prove its mettle against the other. It was not just a political thing; deep down it was a religious idea that Jews have been carrying.
Adolf Hitler has another master race - the Aryans, the Nordics - who are meant to rule over the world, so Jews should be completely eliminated. You cannot put the whole responsibility on Adolf Hitler. Yes, he is responsible, but Moses starts the game, and Jews down the ages have supported Moses. There was a reason for it. Because they had made the whole world against them, everybody against them, they had to keep themselves together and become fanatic; otherwise they would not have survived.
Their only hope was that the messiah would be coming..."and that will be the end of this suffering.
This is not a long suffering; it is really a test, a challenge to your integrity, whether you can survive this test or not. The moment you have survived the test and the fire, and come out of it, the messiah will be coming to redeem you. And then all others will be thrown into hell and you will be welcomed - with bands, songs, and all the angels singing 'Alleluia' - into paradise."
They refused to accept Jesus as the messiah, as the Christ. They had to. They will never accept anybody as the messiah or the christ. They cannot. The reasons are very simple.
Nobody can redeem humanity from its suffering. Unless each single human individual decides that he is responsible for his own suffering and drops all the nonsense that creates the suffering, he cannot redeem himself. And how can anybody else redeem you? You have created the suffering, not the messiah. And even if he redeems the suffering, what guarantee is there you will not create it again? If you are proficient in creating it, I think you will create it again. In the first place it cannot be taken away; even if it is taken away, you will create it again.
And the Jews cannot accept anybody as the messiah because nobody can redeem the whole of humanity from suffering.
Poor Jesus was just a fanatic Jew who had got this big idea in his small head that he was the messiah. And it is not very difficult to get such ideas, if you are articulate enough. He was not educated but he was certainly articulate. And sometimes uneducated people, if they are articulate, speak with a strength, power, authority, which intellectuals, sophisticated, very educated people, cannot manage. The very educated person, the very sophisticated, is always hesitant. There are so many ifs and buts in him. He has so many doubts himself, he knows that he does not know millions of things.
But men like Jesus or Kabir, who are absolutely uneducated, for them to be authoritative and to declare with vigor and power is very easy. You just have to collect a bunch of fools around you, which is the easiest thing in the world. Just stand on your head on the street and the fools will come running. You are doing nothing much, just standing on your head, but the fools will drop their work and will come running: something great is happening - anything.
And when a man like Jesus says things which give them a psychological support: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.... To whom is he talking? To these poor Jews who have been humiliated for centuries, continuously, and were being humiliated in Jesus' time by the Romans. To these humiliated people you are talking of humbleness, meekness? Naturally, to them it becomes a very great consolation. They are humiliated, but they think they are humble.... A small trick of the mind: they are weak, they are slaves, but now they can believe they are meek.
When Jesus said, "If somebody hits you on one cheek, turn the other too, because this is the only way to God. Love your enemy" - of course those people felt immensely superior. Deep down their ego was fulfilled. In fact, they were not able not to turn the other cheek at all. What nonsense is he talking, "Turn the other cheek"? They have already been beaten on both! Now what do you want - should they turn their buttocks?
I cannot say to people who have been beaten for centuries, in slavery, in every possible way humiliated: be humble. But it gives consolation. Those people start thinking, "It is good that we are poor, we are blessed; that we are meek, we are blessed; that we are humble, we are blessed; that we have been beaten on both the cheeks... the kingdom of God is certainly ours." They would like to believe in Jesus, that he is the messiah, because if they believe him to be the messiah then his words have authority and consoling power. If they don't believe in him as the messiah, then he is just an ordinary man.
So many could not understand the whole psychology of what he was saying, and to whom he was saying it. People started following him, listening to him - ordinary masses. But the rabbis were angry for the simple reason that he was becoming the chief rabbi. Rabbis are learned people, very learned in their ancient lore; and this man knew nothing, just a few words. What are those four gospels? All that is significant in them can be condensed onto a postcard. What was he saying? All those four gospels are again and again the same repetition, the same story from four disciples.
The rabbis, the priesthood, became angry. So they said, "If you think you are the messiah, then you will have to give the proof - and the proof is crucifixion. If you are resurrected after the crucifixion, we will accept you as the messiah; otherwise you are not the messiah but an anti-messiah, antichrist."
And Jews never accepted him because the crucifixion actually did not manage to kill Jesus, and he escaped from Jerusalem. There was no resurrection at all. In fact, the crucifixion was not completed, so how could there be a resurrection? Death had not happened, so what to say about resurrection?
And no Jewish contemporary account talks about Jesus or his crucifixion or his resurrection or his teachings - because those contemporary sources are written by rabbis, learned people, not by the mob. They did not think Jesus even worth mentioning. The New Testament is the only proof that Jesus ever existed, and that too was written after Jesus had disappeared, was not found - three hundred years afterwards. And the popes have been continuously editing it down the ages, taking out everything that can be dangerous to them, because now they are the rabbis.
Jesus had no idea that he was creating a new religion. He had never thought about it. All that he wanted was the Jews to accept him as the messiah... and the Jews refused him.
So if you ask me, the phenomenon of Christ never happened. I mean the phenomenon of a messiah never happened. Jesus happened, but he was never accepted as a messiah by the Jews, who were the people expecting, hoping, waiting. And they created the idea that many will come who will claim to be the messiah, and they will not be true messiahs; they will not be Christ, they will be anti-Christ.
Many will be coming; that was a Jewish idea. Christianity has borrowed it in its own turn.
Strange: Jesus was refused as a messiah and declared the antichrist by the Jews - that's why he was crucified, because he was claiming to be something he was not. And it was of tremendous importance for the Jews. Their whole life revolved around the hope: the messiah will come... and this carpenter's son, uneducated, not knowing anything, claims that he is the messiah. He is a false messiah, and Jews said, "Many have come before who have declared they are the messiah, and were found false. This man is also in the same line."
But strange - history moves in a strange way. Jews rejected him, and that rejected fellow became the founder of a new religion. Without founding it, he became the founder of a new religion. He had never dreamed of it. He would have refused to start a new religion; he was a Jew, and he wanted to be accepted by the Jews, to be their messiah. That was something; that was his ego fulfillment.
The Jews refused and declared him the antichrist.
Who founded Christianity? A very strange man - it has nothing to do with Jesus. His name was Saul, and he was very much against Jesus and against Jesus' teachings. He lived far away from Jerusalem. When he heard many rumors reaching there that the messiah has come, and he will redeem the world - and he was a very orthodox Jew.... So he started moving towards Jerusalem, to kill this man if he finds him, and to destroy all his important apostles, as he calls them, and finish this whole thing in the beginning; otherwise later on it will become a difficulty, it will become too big.
And he was continuously thinking how to destroy Jesus, how to destroy these apostles - Matthew, Luke, Thomas, etcetera. His mind was thinking only one thing, focused on one thing: How to destroy these people and Jesus? And it happens sometimes when you are so obsessed with one idea, you can come to such extreme obsession that it turns around, one hundred and eighty degrees. That is a psychological phenomenon, it happens every day.
Saul, walking in the hot sun, in the dust, towards Jerusalem, only one thought moving in his mind...
the hot sun... and one thought: how to destroy, how to destroy.... Suddenly he saw Jesus in the sky! That was just a projection of a madman obsessed with a certain idea. And when he saw Jesus' figure appearing, naturally he was dumb. He fell on the ground, asked to be forgiven, to be just cut off from his old life, and become converted. Now he was converted, because Jesus had appeared in the sky. He became Paul; from Saul he changed his name to Paul. This man Paul, this maniac, this murderous type of person, is the founder of Christianity.
It is Paul who founded Christianity. He was the first pope. That's why you will find many popes, when they become pope, using Paul's name in their name. That is the most glorious name, the first founder. So you will find many popes... somebody is John Paul, somebody is something else, but they use Paul, because Paul is the most glorious person in their history. In fact they are not connected with Jesus.
And this Paul who was going to kill Jesus and his friends, now turned towards the enemies of Christianity. He declared that Christ would come again - just the old Jew he was, his whole life waiting for the messiah, although now he has become a Christian.... But you can change only the clothes, you cannot change those ideas so easily. Now he projects the whole philosophy, and he says Christ will come again, and he will redeem the world. This time he could not do it, because Jews crucified him, betrayed him. But now when he comes he will find his own people, Christians, who will support him in every possible way, and help him to redeem the suffering of the whole world, and to transform everything that is ugly into a beautiful phenomenon.
Now, anybody claiming that "I am the Christ" is the antichrist. You see how history repeats. And unless man becomes intelligent, history is going to continue to repeat itself.
Just the other day I received a letter that I am the antichrist. Strange... I say there has been no Christ at all, so how can I be the antichrist? And what business have I being the antichrist? I can be myself, and I am absolutely happy being myself; why should I be Christ? - I have never claimed to be Christ.
But there are people who have started talking about me as the antichrist - the same fools who crucified Jesus. Now they are in the religion of Christianity, the same fools, the same type of mind of people - nothing different. And if somebody says that he is the Christ, they will crucify him as the antichrist. Of course they cannot crucify me. I am not the Christ. I am not going to play their game.
I never play anybody's game. I play my own game, and I make my own rules.
You will be surprised, even when I was playing cards I used to make my rules. Anybody who wants to play with me has to follow my rules; otherwise there is no need to play. In the university many professors, many students, were interested in playing cards or chess with me, but they had to follow my rules - because why should I follow anybody else's rules? Now, nobody knows who the guy was who made the rules for chess - why should I follow his rules? I am not a follower. I make my own rules. Anybody who wants to play has to follow my rules. I am not Christ. I am not a messiah, I am not a paigambara, I am not a tirthankara, I am not an avatara. I don't feel like being included in this line of insane people. Please forgive me - and exclude me.
The whole idea of Christ is bogus; hence the idea of antichrist is even more bogus. First you believe in Christ, then the antichrist comes - why not cut the very root, and be finished with it?
My insistence is that each individual is responsible for whatsoever he is. And those who want to be with me, they have to accept their responsibility totally. That's the only way of redemption, getting over your suffering, transforming your being. I cannot do it, nobody else can do it. So whosoever promises you is a cheat. Beware of him - he is dangerous.
Whosoever gives you hope and promises you, "You believe in me and I will do everything else,"
catch hold of him immediately and put him in a psychiatric ward. He needs immediate treatment, tranquilizers. He is going out of his mind. He may become a messiah or he may become an avatara; and then there are people who will declare him the antichrist. And this has been going on for thousands of years. I would like it to stop.
When I say this is the first religion, I mean it... because nobody before me has had the guts to say, "I am not the messiah." When he had the capacity to gather mobs easily, nobody else had the guts to say, "I am not special, I am just like you."
This is the first religion founded by a human being.
Up to now it has been the work of mad people... all kinds of insanities. I want to put a full stop to it.