There was no enlightenment in the cases of Jesus and Mohammed, and whatever happened after them, they are wholly and solely responsible for it. They have sown the seeds of fanaticism.
The very declaration of Jesus, "I am the only begotten son of God", is fanatic and without any evidence. First, God is only a hypothesis, and hypotheses are not known to have sons and daughters. And the emphasis of Jesus is "the only begotten son", so nobody else can claim that he is another son of God - because I don't think in those days birth control methods were known. On the one hand they say God is omnipotent, and his potency was finished only in one son!
Jesus' claim is simply to make himself unique amongst all the prophets that have passed before him. They were just prophets, messengers of God; he was more intimately related, and blood is always thicker than any message.
Also, he insisted, for all the three years that he was teaching, that he was the messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting.
The Jews were not ready to accept him, but he went on insisting. The only people who followed him were uncultured, uneducated, poor people - and not many. They followed him in the hope that perhaps he was the son of God, perhaps he was the messiah, and he would fulfill his promises:
"Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God." "A camel may pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot pass through the gates of heaven."
He was consoling those poor people who had no understanding. And Judea was full of learned scholars, rabbis - nobody was impressed by him.
His claims and his teachings are contrary. He teaches "Blessed are the meek" but he is not a meek fellow. He teaches, "Love your enemies just as you love yourself," but he curses a poor fig tree because it is out of season and there are no fruits on it! And he becomes angry, "I and my followers have come here hungry, and you are not ready with fruits - there is no welcome from your side."
Now, cursing a tree when it is not the season for the fruits - what can the poor tree do about it? This is the man who is teaching "love your enemies," and he cannot even forgive a poor fig tree, which has not committed any crime.
He himself was uneducated, uncultured, but had got into his head this madness that he was the only son of God, that he was the messiah the Jews had been waiting for. He has given these ideas to the following generations of Christians.
All his miracles are bogus. Miracles don't happen. Existence never changes its laws for anybody, even for the only begotten son of God. I say with absolute certainty that all his miracles are bogus, because if a man had done those miracles, the whole Jewish community would have accepted him as the messiah.
Even today, if a man can walk on water, change water into wine, feed thousands of people from one or two loaves of bread, raise the dead back to life, do you think he will be crucified? He will be crowned! - his miracles will prove what he is saying. But not a single Jewish book of Jesus' time even mentions his name - he was not even news. A man raising the dead back to life - if he is not news, then what is news? A man being crucified and coming back, resurrected - can you avoid giving him the headlines in all the newspapers? But not even his name is mentioned. The reason is clear: he never performed any miracle. All those miracles were added by the disciples to make his claim substantial - that he is the only son of God, that he is the messiah.
They have tried for two thousand years to make Christianity a special religion, unique, far above any other religion for reasons which are all bogus. Buddha never walked on water, Moses never made any dead come back to life again, Krishna was not resurrected - once dead, dead forever.
Even trying to prove that he was born of a virgin mother is just a strategy to make Jesus special, unique; he is not a product of sexuality. It is the anti-sexual attitude, the anti-life attitude. Everybody is born out of sex; that means you are born out of sin. How can God's son be born out of sin? So he is born out of a virgin mother.
For two thousand years these have been the pillars, none of which has anything to do with religion.
Even if you can walk on water, so what? - you will simply look stupid. And if you can change water into wine, you will be behind bars because you are committing a crime. Being born of a virgin mother will simply make you a bastard, not a great god.
And so many people died in Jesus' time: if he was capable of raising people back to life, then he seems to be very miserly, there seems to be no generosity. He raises only one person - who is a personal friend of his. The conspiracy is clear. Lazarus is his personal friend, and the whole miracle is a made-up phenomenon, if it ever happened.
He was not dead. The two sisters of Lazarus were followers of Jesus: they put Lazarus in a cave, and they waited for Jesus. Jesus came after four days, and in four days the body started deteriorating, it was stinking. And Jesus simply called out, "Lazarus, come out!" And it seems Lazarus was completely ready, just waiting; and he came out of the cave.
If a man was capable of raising the dead, then he should have shown... Many people must have died, he could have revived them. Why a friend? And what is the point? - because Lazarus, even after being raised from the dead, did not change. We don't hear of him again, that he was transformed, that his life was now a new life. Nothing happened: he was the same man, with the same ugly jealousies, stupidities, insensitiveness. He had not become a light unto himself.
Even Jesus' resurrection is completely bogus. I have seen his grave - it is in Kashmir in India. He lived in Kashmir to an old age, one hundred and twelve years. A Jewish family - and Jews are very rare in India - still has been taking care of two graves. And a very strange coincidence: Moses died in Kashmir, and Jesus also died in Kashmir. And the reason for this coincidence is that Kashmiris are basically Jews. They are one of the tribes of Jews who lost their way while Moses was finding Israel.
It took forty years. In forty years, almost everybody who had started with him was either dead or was going to die, was too old; a new generation had come into power. And Moses was tired of wandering all over the desert of the Middle East. Somehow he convinced his people, "This is Israel, the promised land of God."
It has nothing beautiful. And Jews have not forgiven Moses - because he bypassed all the oil lands.
And they will never forgive him; otherwise today Jews would have been the richest people in the world, all the oil would have been in their hands. And this great prophet, Moses, could not see the oil running under the earth and see the future. They ended up in Israel, which is a barren country.
And my feeling is, because the new generation was very much frustrated with Moses, just as an excuse he left them in Israel to settle, and he said, "I am going to look for one tribe which has got lost in the desert." And following the track of that tribe, he reached Kashmir; they had settled in Kashmir.
Kashmir seems certainly to be God's land. It is a paradise on earth. When the first Mohammedan invader of India, Babur, reached Kashmir he could not believe his eyes. He had lived his life in the desert, and then to see the lush green beauty of Kashmir.... Without thinking he said, "If there is any paradise it is here, and only here."
Even today you can find that the Kashmiris look more like Jews than like Hindus. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, was originally a Kashmiri, he comes from that same stock; Indira Gandhi - just look at the face, look at the nose. They are all Kashmiris.
Moses reached the tribe, and he could see that they had found Israel, but now it was too late. He must have been very old; it was too late to recognize a mistake. And prophets are not supposed to recognize that they have committed mistakes, they are infallible. But he settled with the group, and he died in Kashmir.
Jesus also reached Kashmir. He was crucified, but the Jewish way of crucifixion is such that an ordinary, healthy man takes at least forty-eight hours to die on the cross - because death comes only by the blood slowly leaving through your hands and your feet. And Jesus was only thirty-three, and perfectly healthy, young.
It was a conspiracy with Pontius Pilate because Pontius Pilate was not a Jew, he was a Roman, and Judea was under the Roman Empire. He could not see what was wrong in Jesus. He had not committed any crime, and if he goes on his donkey saying to people, "I am the only begotten son of God" - if you want to believe it, you can; if you don't want to believe it, you don't have to. But he was not a criminal type.
At the most you could think that he is a little eccentric, a crackpot; or you can think he is just a buffoon. He must have looked like a buffoon - riding on a donkey followed by twelve fools, none of whom had any education, none of whom had any idea of what religion is. It was a joke! People could have laughed and enjoyed it - there was nothing to be taken seriously.
Pontius Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus, so he made an arrangement - because he felt that he was crucifying a very innocent man - that Jesus should be put on the cross as late as possible on Friday. So it was delayed and delayed, and when finally he was put on the cross, he was left there for only six hours. Nobody has ever died on the Jewish cross in six hours in the whole of history.
And then came the sabbath, and Jews stop every action. And this was the strategy: they had to bring down Jesus' body. Perhaps he was feeling weak - blood had gone out, but he was not dead - and he was put in a cave. And then it was very easy for Pontius Pilate - because Roman soldiers were guarding the cave - to allow Jesus' followers to take him out of Judea as quickly as possible.
Those wounds healed and he lived a long life. But in India he lived very silently. He had learned the hard way that to say, "I am the only begotten son of God, I am the last messiah, the one you have been waiting for" just brings crucifixion and nothing else.
No miracle happened.
Even on the cross he was angry at God because it looked to him as if God had betrayed him. It was all in his mind - there is no God, no question of betraying; but in his mind he was so fanatically convinced, that after watching for a few hours, he shouted towards the sky, "Father, have you forsaken me?" - because no miracle was happening. It seems he was hoping angels would be coming, playing on their harps, sitting on white clouds. Nothing happened.
In India he remained silent with the group that had traveled with him. Thomas traveled with him. You will be surprised to know that Indian Christianity is the oldest Christianity in the world; the Vatican comes three hundred years afterwards. He sent Thomas to south India, and made it clear: "Don't talk about those things we were talking about in Judea." But in India it is not a problem.
It happened once, I was staying in one campus, a university campus - it was holiday time, and the campus was used for a Hindu world conference. There were at least nine people who thought they were gods. Hindus don't bother about it. They said, "There is no harm, it is harmless."
Somebody believes he is a god - rather than crucifying him, they worship him. That is more torturous, remember, because now he has to behave like a god, and he is just a human being so he has to repress his humanity, his biology, his physiology - everything. But Hindus don't do any harm to him; he himself does it.
Just in one campus, nine people proclaiming themselves god... and there is no problem about who is the true one, because Hindus believe in thirty-three million gods, so what does it matter? It is not a monopoly of one god. Only Hindu gods are democratic. All other gods are dictatorial - just one god. They cannot tolerate another.
Thirty-three million - that was the population of India in the old days. They have made exactly the same number of gods. So you can have your own special god - unique and personal, no need to share it with anybody else. They can choose their own god. And there are so many religions in India.
So Jesus had been in India before, also, and after the crucifixion he was back again. He knew that in India nobody bothers about these things. If you say you are a messiah, they may say, "Perfectly good - remain one!" Nobody will feel offended. In fact they themselves think they are messiahs, so what is the problem? "You are god, we are god - perfectly good. Shake hands! It is always better to be two than just one!"
Thomas adapted himself completely to the Hindu way of life. He changed his clothes; he was even wearing the Hindu thread that symbolized the Hindu. He was using the red mark on his forehead that symbolizes a certain sect of Hindu. He shaved his head, and he was using wooden sandals which only Hindu monks use. He tried to learn from Hindu masters whatever he could manage. And he tried in the south of India to teach Christ translated into Hindu terms, and he succeeded.
Kerala - the province where Thomas lived, is ninety percent Christian. But he never claimed that he was a prophet or anything. In India these things don't matter. There are prophets on every street, gods in every bazaar. Nobody takes note of it; it is their personal problem. If somebody thinks he is a god, it is his personal problem.
So the resurrection is absolutely false; but for two thousand years these have been the pillars. In all these pillars of Christianity there is nothing which can be said to be spiritual.
And now Christian theologians are having a conference in Europe to decide that these things should be dropped because they make the religion look childish. There are religions which have such high flights of consciousness, much deeper insights into human beings.
It is Jesus who is responsible for Christian fanaticism because he said to his followers, "Soon you will be with me in paradise." I like the word 'soon', but I cannot stretch it to two thousand years - a few days maybe, but not two thousand years. "And at the judgment day I will choose those who follow me, these are my sheep, and they will enter into paradise; and those who don't follow me, they will fall into eternal darkness and hellfire forever. There is no rescue from there." Just an absurd thing.
You can see the absurdity. In Christianity there is only one life - seventy years. One third of it goes in sleeping, one third goes into education. Of the remainder, much goes into earning bread and butter; whatever little is left goes in nagging, fighting, watching the television, shaving your beard twice a day. You don't have much time to commit sin. What sin will you commit? - time is needed.
Bertrand Russell is right. He says, "If the strictest judge decides about the sins which I have committed, and also includes those that I have only contemplated, not committed, he cannot send me to jail for more than four and a half years." And Christianity sends you to hell as a punishment for your sins for eternity. There can be no justification. It is the most absurd idea that any religion has ever produced.
It is Jesus who is creating the idea in his followers. For these two thousand years Christians have been trying to convert people to Christianity because that is the only way to avoid hell, the only way to be chosen by Jesus at the judgment day. If Jesus does not choose you, your fate is sealed; you fall into eternal darkness, into hell-fire. All kinds of tortures have been invented in hell by Christian saints. And this will continue forever, there is no way out, no exit; you only enter into hell, you never get out of it.
This is absolutely illogical, but because Jesus said it, the Christians down the ages have been forcing people in different ways to become Christians. Their intention is very good; they want to save you - even if you don't want to be saved.
I was sitting on my lawn one day when I was a teacher in the university, and a Christian missionary came and started talking to me. And this I have found very characteristic of Christian missionaries - they don't listen to you, they go on talking, and they go on opening the BIBLE and reading the passages.
I said, "But first you should listen. I don't want to be saved. That is the basic question you should ask a person before you waste his time. I don't want to be saved by anybody. If I cannot save myself I don't want to be saved. And I don't want to become a sheep, I am a human being. You just go and talk to sheep."
First they were forcing people by the sword - crusades, religious wars - to change them into Christians. Millions of people have been killed by Christianity, burned alive because they were reluctant to be saved. Strange kind of saviors! Strange kind of compassion! If you don't want to be saved you will be burned alive.
Things have changed. Now they don't come with a sword in one hand and the BIBLE in the other.
They come now with bread and butter in one hand and the BIBLE in another - to save the poor, to save the orphans.
The whole effort is... and I again repeat their intention is not bad, it is just that they are idiots.
Religion is a transforming process, it is not a question of believing in Jesus Christ or believing in Mohammed or believing in Krishna that can save you. That is simply a consolation so that you can, under that consolation, continue your life the way you want.
An authentic seeker tries to find methods to transform his ugliness into beauty, his violence into non-violence, his cruelty into compassion, his hate into love.
The real miracle is not changing water into wine; the real miracle is changing hate into love, changing your unconscious into consciousness - that is the real miracle, and that has to be done by yourself.
Nobody else can do it. Buddhas can only show the way, they cannot do it on your behalf. There are things which cannot be done on your behalf.
One of the existentialist novels has a beautiful idea of the future. A rich man said to his servant, "Just go and make love to my wife."
The people who were sitting there, they could not believe it. They said, "What are you saying?
Sending your servant to make love to your wife?"
He said, "I can afford it. Poor people have to do it themselves. I am rich enough to have it done on my behalf."
The servant was also a little shocked and was still standing. And the rich man shouted, "What are you standing there for? You are not going to make love to my wife; you are simply my representative.
So just do it on my behalf - don't start doing it on your own."
The poor servant had to go if the master said so.
But can love be made by somebody else on your behalf? And if love cannot be made by somebody else, then can paradise, can spiritual transformation, can enlightenment be managed by someone else on your behalf because you can afford it?
The same is true about Mohammedanism; it is even worse - because Mohammedanism was born in Arabia in the desert where nothing grows, and people lived only on invading the neighboring countries; they were the most cruel people. And Mohammedanism has the same idea, that there is only one god, Allah, and there is only one prophet, Mohammed, and there is only one holy book, the KORAN. These are the three basic things.
If you look into the life of Mohammed you will not find the search of Gautam Buddha, you will not find the search of Mahavira. Jesus and Mohammed are not the scientists of the inner being; Mohammed was not even aware.
The story is that he was on the hills taking care of his sheep - just a poor person - and a voice said to him, "I am God, and whatever I say, remember and recite it." Mohammed was so shocked because there was nobody there, that he ran to his home. He had fever, he was shivering. His wife covered him with many blankets, still he was shivering. She said, "What is the matter? You left home perfectly okay. What happened?"
He said, "Something very strange. God spoke to me and he said, 'You are my last messenger,' and that he will go on sending messages to me which I have to collect. But I don't know how to write - I have to tell somebody to write it. But nobody will believe that I have heard God. That's why I am so afraid." People ordinarily think that he became so shocked, that's why he had a fever.
My understanding is just the opposite. He was in a delirium, he had a fever which must have been beyond one hundred and four degrees or one hundred and five degrees, which is when people start hallucinating - hearing things, seeing things, their bed is flying in the sky... all kinds of things after the fever reaches the point of one hundred and five degrees. Then your mind cannot distinguish between reality and dreaming. So it is not that he heard the voice of God and became feverish - because this has not happened ever.
There have been thousands of mystics in the world. When somebody has come to the ultimate truth of life, he has felt so tremendously beautiful, a well-being that he has never known before.
Fever is only the case with Mohammed. Truth does not bring fever, truth is not a disease. My own explanation is that he was suffering from fever, and he heard in his fever that God was speaking to him. And the proof is that the KORAN is the most third-rate book in the world; it can be only out of a mediocre mind, and in fever.
In the KORAN there is nothing that is elevating. It is very difficult, I have tried many times - because I have been speaking on all the scriptures of the world, and Mohammedans wanted me to speak on the KORAN. And so many times, in so many places, Mohammedans presented me with beautiful copies of the KORAN, asking me when I was going to speak on it.
I tried to read it again and again to find something that I can speak upon, but it is so full of rubbish that I could not manage to find even a few places on which I can elaborate and give some insight into human nature. The book is an absolute proof that it has come out of a feverish mind, and very mediocre.
Mohammed married nine women. Now, this is simply ugly, because men and women are of equal number in the world and if one man marries nine women, then what are the other eight men going to do? They will become homosexuals, or they will become rapists, or they will start stealing women from other tribes - and that's what Mohammedans have been doing all along, for fourteen hundred years.
And of course when Mohammed has nine wives he allows a special favor to his disciples - they can have four wives. But he has not made any limit.
One of his disciples, the Nizam of Hyderabad in India had five hundred wives - just in this century.
This is so stupid and ugly. Women are treated like cattle.
And that Nizam of Hyderabad was an old man, but he went on marrying young girls. Perhaps he was the richest man in the world, because in his state is the biggest mine of diamonds. All great diamonds have come from Hyderabad - the Kohinoor and others. He himself had so many diamonds that once a year they had to be put into sunlight and given air. They were not counted because counting was impossible, he had so many.
His whole palace had basements which were filled with diamonds, and they would be taken out and spread on all the terraces of his temple. I have seen the terraces; the palace is one of the biggest palaces in India. He had all the money, he had all the power. He was old, but he could purchase any woman. He could give enough money to any man and purchase his daughter. I don't think he even remembered the names of his five hundred wives, and I don't think that all the wives had seen him. Perhaps the early ones may have seen him.
And he was not worth seeing anyway, an ugly man, and so superstitious that you will not believe it - in the night he used to put one of his feet in a bucket full of salt, the whole night. The reason was that he was very much afraid of ghosts. And Mohammedans believe that if one of your feet is in salt, ghosts don't come close to you.
When I went there he was dead, but I asked his son, "Have you put the bucket in his grave? - because ghosts in the palace are not many, but in the graveyard there are ghosts and ghosts and nobody else, and in the dark night that old man...."
The son said, "You are right! We forgot completely about the bucket of salt."
I said, "It is not too late." Mohammedans don't make marble graves or anything, just mud graves - to show humbleness. So I said, "Just arrange with the gravedigger to put one of his feet into a bucket of salt."
He said, "I will do it. I myself sleep with a bucket because ghosts are very dangerous; and certainly in the graveyard there are only ghosts and nobody else."
Mohammedans have invaded people, forced people at the point of sword to become Mohammedans because there is no other religion which can save you. And the KORAN is the only book on which there is no commentary because no commentary is needed, it is the last word of God. The commentator may put in his own ideas - you have to read it directly. And in fact no commentary is possible because there is nothing to comment on.
It is not a religious book at all. All kinds of things are in it - how many wives you should marry...
things which have nothing to do with religion. And things which have to do with religion are not there at all, and it is the holy book!
Both these religions, Christianity and Mohammedanism, are by-products of Judaism. And if these two are responsible for all the cruelties, the ultimate responsibility goes to Judaism, which is the father religion of both, because Jews got the idea that they are the chosen people of God. From that simple idea, the whole stream of fanatics - Jewish, Christian, Mohammedan - has been born.
Once you start thinking that you are the chosen people of God, that God has given you something special that is not given to anybody else, you are setting yourself up as "holier-than-thou," and the danger starts.
A religious person is the most humble person. He is not a prophet, he is not a messiah, he is not a savior. At the most he is only a finger pointing to the moon.
Don't pay much attention to the finger. Look at the moon and forget the finger - because the purpose of the finger was just to point to the moon.
A truly religious person simply shows the way, the way that he has traveled, and with the condition that you are not to follow it in detail. It is just a vague idea I am giving to you, because your way cannot be exactly the same. You are a different person, you have your own uniqueness. My experience may strengthen your search, my explanation of the way may help you to find your way.
But no religious person ever tries to convert anybody.
Conversion is an ugly word. It hides in it spiritual slavery.
Mohammed continuously carried a sword with him. His whole life was just fighting, killing. And you will wonder - on his sword he had written, "My message is peace." The word 'Islam', which is the name of the religion of Mohammed, means peace. A strange kind of world - the religion means peace, and on the sword also is written "My message is peace", but Mohammedans have killed and burned, massacred whole towns without mercy. And still I say their intention was to save people.
I would like you to be aware: don't be too interested in saving somebody. That is an interference in somebody's life. You can explain your experience, you can share your experience; and if the other finds something useful in it, if the heart of the other person starts throbbing with something in it, that is his business. It is not conversion, it is simply a human communication.
These two religions are the ugliest in the world. And they go on doing one ugly thing after another.
And when it is done in the name of religion, people simply accept it - whatever it is, however stupid it is. It just has to be given a good name and that will do.
For example, Jews go on doing circumcision. Mohammedans also do it, but at a later stage, not when the child is very small. At a later stage it is more painful. But what is this nonsense? It is symbolic of the fact that anything, once it gives the idea that you belong to a certain community, that you have a certain identity, can take on a religious flavor.
I have heard: one bishop used to live opposite a rabbi, and both were competitors in everything.
The bishop sold his old Ford and purchased a new Chevrolet. The rabbi was just coming out when the bishop was pouring water on the Chevrolet. The rabbi said, "What are you doing?"
The bishop said, "I am baptizing the Chevrolet I have purchased. Now I am making it Christian."
Now this was too much for the rabbi. The next day he managed to purchase a Cadillac, and when the bishop came out, the rabbi came out with garden scissors and started cutting the exhaust pipe.
The bishop said, "What are you doing?"
He said, "Circumcision. I am making this Cadillac a Jew."
Humanity has been in the hands of these people, and still their grip is strong.
A new man can emerge only if such idiotic beliefs completely disappear from human consciousness.
Man can evolve spiritually; no belief is needed - either to be Hindu, Mohammedan or Christian. In fact all beliefs are barriers. Once you believe in a thing you stop searching for it; when you believe it, there is no need to search for it. If you believe and still search, then your belief is not complete, is not total, there is doubt in it; then your belief is only hypothetical.
All the religions have stopped people's seeking and searching by giving them beliefs - and any kind of belief is dangerous.
My own approach is: start with no belief, start with a clarity of mind, start with intelligence. Be available to whatever you come across, but without any prejudice. Only then is there a possibility to find the truth. And it is truth that saves - neither Christ saves anybody, nor Mohammed saves anybody, nor Krishna saves anybody.
It is truth that is a deliverance.
It is truth that makes you free from all garbage, the rotten past. It gives you a new birth.
Once I was sitting by the side of the Ganges in Allahabad alone, in a very lonely spot, and I saw a man jump into the river. I thought he must be taking a bath, but then he started shouting, "Help!
Save me!" - he was drowning.
I don't believe in saving anybody, but I thought that this is a totally different case. So I jumped in after him and I pulled him out. It was hard, he was a very big and fat fellow, but somehow I brought him out. And he started being very angry with me. He said, "Why did you save me?"
I said, "This is something! You were shouting, 'Save me, help me!' I am not a person to save anybody, but there was nobody else here, and I thought that this is a totally different context. But why are you getting angry?"
He said, "I was really going to commit suicide."
"Then," I said, "why did you start shouting, 'Save me, help me'? You should have committed suicide - I would not have disturbed you. I was simply sitting silently, I was not interfering with you."
He said, "What to do? I wanted to commit suicide, and with a total decisiveness I had jumped in.
But when the cold water touched me, I forgot all that, and when I started drowning and came up, I don't know how, but I started shouting, 'Help me, save me!'"
I said, "Don't be worried. Come here."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "You just come close to me." He came. I pushed him back into the water. He went under once and started shouting again, "Save me, help me! What are you doing?"
I said, "Now I am not going to be worried. I did wrong the first time - please forgive me for that time.
Now I will simply sit here and see you commit suicide."
He said, "This is not" - and it was difficult to say anything because he was going down and up - "This is not a joke! Just save me. I don't want to commit suicide!"
Somebody else jumped in and saved him. I said, "You are doing something wrong because that fellow wants to commit suicide."
And that fellow said, "No, I have dropped the idea. It is too difficult, I will find some easier way. This going under water and coming up - it is too much for me."
I said, "I can help you with good ideas about how to commit suicide."
He said, "You seem to be a strange man. First you pushed me into the river - I had never expected that anybody would do it."
I said, "I simply did... when I saw that I had done something wrong, I had to put it right. I put you back into your position. But I can suggest to you some better ways. Just near here a railway line goes by, just lie down there. And it is a junction, a big junction; every moment trains are going by."
He said, "The idea is good, but right now I am feeling hungry."
I said, "That is your problem. You can go home, take your meal, and if you are afraid that the train may be late, then bring a tiffin carrier with your food. Lie down on the railroad with the tiffin carrier by your side; if the train is late, you can eat. I can give you any suggestion you want, but I will not do anything for you."
Everybody has a right to live his life according to his own light.
We can make the light brighter, but by cutting off the head of somebody, you are not going to help him become religious. Or giving bread and service or a job or education, opening a hospital, you are not going to help people to be religious; you are simply playing a game of numbers, which is a political game - the politics of numbers.
Mohammedanism and Christianity both have proved simply evil.
I was telling you just the other day that in the Middle Ages they killed thousands of women on the order of the pope because they were witches. And what was the criterion? How did you find out a woman was a witch? The criterion was that anybody could report about any woman that she was a witch, and then that woman was tortured so much, unless she confessed that she was a witch. And that confession meant that she had had intercourse, sexual intercourse, with the devil. And once she had accepted it, she was burned. They forced her to confess, tortured her, and then punished her.
There were special courts arranged by the pope; any woman or man could report to the court if they wanted divorce. There was only one way in the Middle Ages; the woman had to say that the man was impotent or the man himself had to confess that he was impotent.
And whenever such a case was there in the courts, great crowds would gather to see the scene - all voyeurs, not a single seat would be empty. All the judges, bishops and cardinals would be in the seats - it was great entertainment for them. The man had to stand naked, and before a crowd he had to prove whether he was potent or impotent. If he was saying that he was potent, and his woman was saying something otherwise, then he had to show his penis erect before the court. What kind of religion is this, and what business are they doing?
First, it is really difficult when a crowd is watching and you are afraid - and it is a very sensitive matter. Even a potent man may not be able to have an erection with so many voyeurs in deep silence watching him.
And if he had an erection then he had to show the second step: ejaculate there before the court.
But that was not enough: the third step was the final one, he had to make love to his wife before the court. Now what kind of ugliness in the name of religion is this?
So a table was placed there, a naked woman lying down on it, and the man was doing all kinds of gymnastics to prove that he was potent. And mostly even potent people failed - because of the crowd, so many people watching, and so much fear, "If I fail, then the whole world will know that I am impotent." This was done by religions.
Mohammedans, I told you, marry many women, and if they find anybody in any homosexual relationship, they cut off their hands. You force them into a homosexual relationship because they don't have any woman available, and then the punishment is to cut off their hands! You are almost killing them, because now they will not be able to do any work. How are they going to earn their food? - you have finished them.
And with their hands removed, wherever they go, they will be condemned, stoned, and finally they will be killed by people. And this is done in the name of religion, religiousness; but I don't see there is any connection between such things and religiousness.
One Mohammedan, Khalif Omar, burned the greatest library of the world in those days, in Alexandria. It had all the treasures and all the developed literature, poetry and history of the continent Atlantis - which has since drowned in the Atlantic. It was immensely valuable because Atlantis had reached almost to the same level of civilization as we are now - thousands of years before. From Atlantis they had gathered many books. Alexandria's library was so big - you can't imagine: when Omar burnt it, the fire continued for six months to finish off the whole library.
And the way Omar did it is worth understanding. He went into the library to the chief librarian with a burning torch in one hand and the KORAN in the other hand. And he said to the chief librarian, "I have just two questions to ask you. One is: is there anything more in your library than the KORAN?
If there is, then it need not exist because all that is true is in the KORAN. Apart from that, everything is untrue.
"The second question: if you say that it contains only the same content as the KORAN, then too this library need not exist. What is the point? - the KORAN has it all. Why keep this big library and this arrangement? It is unnecessary. So in both the cases I am going to burn the library - whether you say yes or no will not make any difference." And he burned the library.
Those who had seen the library - for example, Pythagoras - remember that perhaps never again would there be such a rich treasure. The whole civilization of Atlantis - all its growth, all its scientific, technological, literary and artistic treasures - everything was collected in Alexandria.
First it was thought just to be a myth, but now scientists have found that there is a vast continent under the Atlantic - ruins of a great civilization, miles down.
But this has been the attitude of the Mohammedans. They destroyed the library in Alexandria. They destroyed in India immensely beautiful sculpture because Mohammedanism does not believe in images. Although it is not right, because they go to the Kaaba to worship a stone. What does it matter if the stone is a stone or a statue? They are stone-worshippers.
In India there were millions of beautiful statues of Buddha, Mahavira, other mystics - they have destroyed all of them. Somebody's head is missing, somebody's hands are missing. They spoiled thousands of temples, temples which were built in hundreds of years.
In Khajuraho - I have been studying the temples of Khajuraho for years - there were one hundred temples. Seventy temples have been completely destroyed. Thirty temples, out of fear, the Hindus covered with mud; they were in a valley so they were saved. Now they have been restored, the mud has been removed.
Looking at those thirty temples - even just one temple - you can understand what they have destroyed. Seventy temples...! One temple seems to be the work of thousands of sculptors over hundreds of years. It has so many beautiful statues. Not a single inch is uncarved in the whole temple, and the temples are big; they all have thousands of statues covering all the walls of the temple; and each statue is a piece of art, nothing like it exists anywhere in the world.
Now, it is one thing to believe that you don't worship images; it is another thing to destroy somebody else's images. It is his freedom to worship an image or not. You can explain to him that it is not useful; but to destroy his image is inhuman, it is destroying human rights, birthrights.
Christianity and Mohammedanism both have been a calamity to human progress. Other religions have done harm to human progress, but they have also contributed something which is beautiful.
These two religions have only contributed ugliness; there is nothing beautiful that they have contributed.