Man is so unconscious that he does not know what he is doing, or for what he is doing it, or when the right time to do it is - so perhaps someone takes sannyas too early. It is just accidental. He comes into the influence of a group of sannyasins, reads some books or listens to my world and feels that he is ready.
A few people take sannyas too late. That too is accidental. It is sheer chance that they did not come across sannyasins, my message, earlier.
It is a very rare coincidence that a person takes sannyas exactly at the right moment in his life for the simple reason that man is not conscious.
The right moment comes and passes by, and he is lost in his dreams, in his ambitions, in his desires.
But my statement simply describes a factuality.
As far as you are concerned, it does not matter.
I would like to say to you that whenever you take sannyas it is the right moment. You are helpless as far as your unconsciousness is concerned, you cannot do anything about it, so you cannot be held responsible for being early or late. And even those who take it at the right moment, that too is coincidental.
So all the three persons are taking sannyas accidentally. So basically it makes no difference.
And the real thing is not the right moment. The real thing is your right determination, your right decisiveness, your right commitment.
My statement may look contradictory. It is not. Only the contexts are different.
There was in India a great sage, Eknath - not of the ordinary run, unique. He used to sleep in the temple made for Shiva. And the king had gone to visit him. The king was sent to him by his own master - because he was too argumentative, too rational, too much in the mind, and the master was tired. And finally he said, "If anything is going to happen to you in this life it can happen only through Eknath. You go to Eknath."
The king agreed, out of curiosity, but he was suspicious, "If my own master cannot make me a convinced seeker of truth, who is this guy Eknath? I have never heard about him. What is he is going to do to me?" But it was worth it. He went early in the morning - it must have been nine o'clock. Hindu brahmins wake up at five o'clock in the morning or even earlier, but not later than that; and the saints, the holy ones, get up near about three in the morning.
Eknath was fast asleep at nine o'clock. The king was shocked. What kind of saint is he? And this was not all; when he went closer he said, "My God, is this a saint or a devil?" - because he was putting his feet on the statue of Shiva, just as a footrest. He said, "My master must have gone mad to send me to this man. Although I am not convinced of the existence of God, even I cannot touch the statue of God with my feet. I am afraid.... Who knows? After all, God may exist. Why take unnecessary trouble upon yourself? But this man is something!"
And when Eknath woke up the king said, "I have been sent by my master."
Eknath laughed and he said, "While I am alive there is nobody else who is a master." This was very insulting to the king.
He said, "You seem to be an insane person. In the first place you are sleeping up to nine, in the temple, resting your feet on the statue of Shiva, and now you are saying that there can be nobody else master while you are alive."
He said, "Yes. Tell that to your master; otherwise why has he sent you to me? These are just pygmy teachers pretending to be masters, and as far as my sleeping up to nine and my feet on the statue of Shiva, remember one thing: wherever I put my feet there is God, so what does it matter?
God is everywhere, so why not find a comfortable place? And my waking up at nine - remember, any people who say that saints wake up before sunrise are just mediocre minds. I say to you that whenever the saint wakes up, that is sunrise."
Strange statements, but very true - true in depth, true in intensity. Whenever a saint wakes up, that is sunrise; his waking is far more important than your ordinary sun rising up every day - a mechanical phenomenon. My waking is not a mechanical phenomenon, and I am a free man - I will wake up when I want to, and I will go to sleep when I want to. I act according to my consciousness, my awareness. I don't follow any discipline. I don't have any rules for my life. My life is my only discipline.
Therefore I say unto you that whenever you become a sannyasin that is the right moment.
So don't be bothered about the statement that a few people come to sannyas earlier, a few people come later, very few people come at the right time.
Remember, whenever you become a sannyasin you make that time the right time. So don't feel that you have missed anything.
A sannyasin never misses anything in life. Once a sannyasin, he forgets missing, he simply goes on gaining more dimensions, more riches - riches of all kinds, more awareness, more love, more compassion, more beauty, more grace. Who cares for chronological time? Who bothers to look at the calendar and then take sannyas?
And it is not possible in the first place. So let me repeat: whenever you take sannyas, that is sunrise.
In India we have a proverb, that the man who has lost the way to his home, who has gone astray - even if he does not come home until evening he should not be called lost. Whoever coined the proverb must have been a man of great wisdom. The real point is not that he went astray. The real point is that he has come back. Going astray is ordinary, and in a way essential for coming back.
Forgetting the way home is an absolute necessity for finding the home. So even if you have come in the evening of your life to sannyas you have not missed anything, you have come home.
The traditional method of vipassana is a very cold, dull and dead way, and because it is cold it takes a longer time - perhaps a few lives to become awakened.
But because all the religions of the world have praised coldness in their saints, in their seekers, searchers, they have all delayed progress, delayed the evolution of consciousness.
Energy moves better when it is warmer.
This is one of my contributions, which will be condemned by all the religions - the religions of the cold. I teach you a religion of warmth, love, singing, dancing, music. These are all tremendously helpful to make you alert, wakeful.
Sitting in a cave - a dark cave in a mountain alone - people have been dozing in the name of vipassana. They can doze, it is their life. I am not in any way going to interfere. They have chosen it. They will doze their way towards enlightenment, however long it takes.
But when there is music and your whole body is thrilling, and when there is song, although you are sitting, in a subtle sense there is a dance in you. You cannot remain unconscious, you have to become more watchful.
I want vipassana to be a warmer path; then it becomes a very short cut. I would like you to sing and dance and play on instruments - that will take you away from the mundane world, the day-to-day world. I would like you to love, I would like you to laugh.
The society has repressed everything; even when you laugh it is halfhearted because it is thought to be not gentlemanly. To laugh wholeheartedly looks a little rustic. But if you laugh totally, then the laughter will be coming from your hara, just below the navel, two inches below the navel, and that is the source of your life, that's where your center of life is.
You should learn laughing through Geeta. She is Japanese and she knows how to laugh from the hara and then it is like bells ringing in a temple. It is only Geeta who makes me laugh; otherwise I somehow manage seriousness.
Whenever you are total in anything you will feel more watchful, more alert, more awakened, more fresh, more alive.
I am all for life. Your so-called religions are all against life, they are anti-life. Naturally they have to be as cold as a corpse.
I would like my sannyasins to be living totally and multi-dimensionally, even in small things - bringing their whole being to a focus. And if you can start living moment to moment in different ways - but always total - vipassana will happen to you more easily than you can conceive because you have never seen anything happening so easily, without effort, on its own accord. You can force yourself to sit in silence and remain awake. I don't teach that kind of vipassana. I teach a vipassana that follows you like a shadow, as a by-product of your total living.
He did not meditate. If he could have meditated the shape of things in the world would have been different. What he did in those forty days and forty nights was prayer. Prayer to a god which he knows not. No one knows whether he exists or not.
Millions of people have been praying and the sky remains utterly indifferent; no answer, no response.
The whole ideology of Jesus and Christianity is based on fiction. It is a religious fiction. The same is true about all the religions which are religions of prayer.
There are two kinds of religions in the world: religions of prayer and religions of meditation.
The religions of prayer are fictitious because they begin from the very beginning with a belief in a god. Belief is not knowing, and belief cannot destroy your doubt. At the most it can repress, it can cover up your doubt, but underneath the belief you are always suspecting whether your belief is true or not. Doubt dies on its own accord when you know something; then there is no question of doubt.
Belief carries doubt with it.
And to make the belief system strong, prayer is the method. First the god is bogus - you create the god out of your fear, it is a phobia, and then you start praying to that god which is your own creation.
The BIBLE says God created man in his own image. Just looking at this statement, it does not need much intelligence to see the utter stupidity of it. The man that you know, is this man the image of God? And if this is the image of God, you cannot expect anything better from God. No, the statement is not right, and is not in any way respectful towards God either. It is disrespectful, condemnatory. It is as if somebody says, "Man created buffaloes in his own image."
God created man in his own image? This is his reflection - all these jealousies, all these miseries, all these despairs, anguish, anxieties, wars, murders, rapes? The list is infinite. This is the image of God, this is his reflection in the mirror?
So firstly, the statement is very disrespectful and irreligious.
Secondly, it is untrue. The truth is that man created God in his own image. God has not created man, it is man who has created God. That's why there are hundreds of gods in the world - because different people created different kinds of god, according to their own idea. A Chinese god will not appeal to anybody else, and nobody else's idea of God will appeal to the Chinese because they are a different race of man with differences which are very clear-cut. They don't grow thick beards or mustaches - the beard, maybe you can count one dozen hairs, more than that is simply wild. They are the civilized people of the world, according to themselves. Their god also has those one dozen hairs in his beard. Hindu gods don't have any beard, don't have any mustache. No religion born in India - Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism.... It seems that Hindu gods started shaving from the very beginning. It seems first they created the razor. It is all nonsense that first there was the word and God was with the word and God was the word - nonsense! There was first a razor! And God was with the razor, and God was shaving himself, finding nobody else to shave.
I enquired of Hindu scholars, "Why do your gods not have beards or mustaches?" And it is not one god, it is all the gods - and India has the biggest number of gods, thirty-three million. That was exactly the population of India when these gods were being developed. Why be miserly and why create a monopolistic god? Why make a god like Adolf Hitler? They create a very democratic situation - everybody can have his own god.
They were not aware that one day India will have nine hundred million people. They were thinking that this is too much - thirty-three million, we have reached the limit; but even nine hundred million is not the limit. By the end of this century India will have the greatest population in the whole world.
China will be left far behind.
China's estimate for the end of the century is one point two billion.
India's estimate is one point eight billion.
But all these gods in one thing are similar, they are without mustache, without beard. What is the problem? This can happen only if they are missing some hormones. It happens once in a while that you will find a man who has no beard, no mustache, and it does not grow and there is no need for him to use a razor. He is missing particular hormones which are needed for the growth of the beard and the mustache.
Nobody has answered my question, why these people are all shaved; but the reason, I feel on my own, is that India does not want its gods to grow old. They have to remain so young that even beard and mustache have not yet started growing. And they are stuck there. That is the Hindu idea.
In their heaven they have apsaras, air hostesses. They don't allow their air hostesses in heaven to grow beyond the age of sixteen. Millions of years have passed and they are still sixteen.
Naturally their gods are not more than eighteen at the most. And it has to be so; otherwise it will look very ugly. They will all become dirty old men, and the young girls... and they are millions of years old, and the gap, the generation gap will be really so big, unimaginable.
But the Christian God or the Jewish God is an old man, not a young man, with a beard, ancient, because the old is gold. The older a person is the more wise he is. Nobody can be older than God, remember. That's why he prevented Adam and Eve from eating from two trees, the tree of knowledge and the tree of eternal life. Why prevent them? Because if they eat the fruit of the tree of eternal life they may start becoming older than God himself. He does not want anybody to be older than him because he wants to be at the top.
These are different conceptions of different people, and they have created their god according to their own image; and the foolishness is they are sitting before a mirror with folded hands praying to the reflection of their own face and hoping that they are doing something religious, something spiritual.
They should be treated psychologically. Prayer is addressed to a fictitious god; hence, it has no value in reality.
Meditation is a totally different affair.
Jesus had no idea of meditation.
The West, unfortunately, has missed the dimension of meditation, and it has missed because of Judaism, Christianity, Islam - which have dominated the Western sphere and forced people to pray.
In fact, there has been a condemnation in the West - particularly by the Western religious people - of meditation. To them meditation looks selfish because meditation does not need God, meditation does not need any prayer. Meditation is simply sitting in deep silence so that you can sink to your very center, it is sinking within yourself. It has nothing to do with anybody else.
So those who do not understand can call it selfish.
But meditation leads you to your own reality.
Prayer is only leading to your own reflection, which is futile - talking to your own reflection. It is not going to help you in any way. It may give you a good ego - "God really looks like me, he must have created man in his own image."
So the people of prayer are bound to become egoists, arrogant, holier-than-thou - that will be their attitude continually.
The meditator becomes humble. He does not feel holier-than-thou. As he reaches to his center he becomes more peaceful, more blissful, more harmonious with existence. He loses all problems, all questions. He knows. Now there is no question of doubt.
The religions of prayer begin with belief.
The religions of meditation don't begin with belief but end in an absolute certain knowing. But the knowing has to be differentiated from knowledge. They don't become knowledgeable. They simply know that the whole existence is divine. Their knowing is innocent, not knowledgeable. Their knowing makes them humble - because they can see everybody has the same center; we are different only on the periphery, but at the center we are one.
You can see many points.
The religions of prayer have been fighting, killing, burning people alive, in the name of religion - forcing people at the point of a gun or a sword to be converted to their religion.
The religions of meditation have not done anything like that, and there is a great balance.
The prayer religions have been creating religious wars, crusades, jihads. Their whole history is full of blood. They have not made man better, they have made him worse.
Religions of meditation have not had a single war. They have not even tried to convert anybody for the simple reason that there is no point; the other person is as divine as they are, he is just asleep and it is his right to sleep as long as he wants, and whenever he wants to wake up he will wake up.
Being awake themselves, they have found tremendous treasures of blissfulness, of ecstasy. They would like to share it, so they go on sharing it but there is no question of conversion.
Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism - these three religions are the religions of meditation. Their history is simply clean, no bloodshed.
Judaism, Christianity, Islam are the religions of prayer. Their whole history is full of blood and so ugly that to call it religious and to call these people religious looks like a mockery.
Only one religion, Hinduism, is left. Hinduism is a totally strange phenomenon, different from both the religions I have described. Hinduism is many religions together, it is not one religion. So you cannot characterize Hinduism with other religions which have a certain personality. Hinduism is a chaos. There are hundreds of religions under the umbrella of Hinduism, different from each other.
Even the word 'Hinduism' was not given by Hindus themselves.
There was no name in India. People were free to follow whatsoever they wanted to follow. That's why hundreds of small paths, having their own uniqueness, developed. There was no singular name for the whole complex, it was a crowd; but as India was invaded, the invaders gave it a name. And by coincidence, when you enter India you have to pass one of the biggest rivers of India, Sindhu, and the first invaders had no letter for 's', the closest letter was 'h'. So 'Sindhu' became 'Hindu' and they called the people who lived beyond the Hindu river 'Hindus'. They had to call them something - these people who are living beyond the Hindu river.
And you will be surprised that from 'Hindu' the word traveled to other tribes, became 'Indu', became 'India'; but it is the same Sindhu river which created all these names - Hindu, Indu, India.
Otherwise, India was totally a free country. Everybody was accepted, whatever he was doing and whatever he wanted to do. It was his right.
But now, slowly, slowly, in these two thousand years, even Hindus have started thinking of themselves as one fold, but they are in continuous difficulty because they have contradictory religions within themselves. So nobody can say what Hinduism is; one sect will define it in one way, another sect in another way, and the third sect in a third way. And there are so many sects and all have equal value, so that Hinduism has no definition. From godless people to people who believe in god, all are in the fold - under the same umbrella.
But looking at it as a whole, not thinking much of the inner contradictions, Hinduism will also be one of the religions of prayer. It cannot be one of the religions of meditation.
There are a few sects in Hinduism which have meditated, but they are in a minority. For example, yoga. The founder of yoga, Patanjali, was really a daring man. Five thousand years ago, in his yoga sutras, he says something which even the contemporary man has not the guts to say. He says, "God is a hypothesis. It is not a reality. If you enjoy prayer, then the hypothesis of God is needed; otherwise to whom are you going to address it?"
People like Patanjali are also under the same umbrella. They should be taken out. They belong really to Taoism, Jainism, Buddhism - the religions of meditation.
Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism - they don't believe in any god. They don't believe in anything. They believe only in one thing - and that, too, hypothetically. You know you are. You feel you are. You cannot deny it because even your denial will prove that you are. If you say, "I am not" that will be simply a proof that you are, because who is denying?
It is just as if you are in your house, and somebody knocks on the door and you say, "I am not in the house. I have gone out to the market. Come some other time." Do you think the man is going to believe you?
He will simply say, "This is hilarious. You are inside the house and you are saying, 'I have gone out to the market.' Open the doors."
You cannot deny yourself. This is the only fact in existence which is undeniable - everything else can be denied. It is possible that you may be all just a dream. It is possible that I may be to you just a dream.
It is not certain. But one thing you cannot deny - you can deny the dream, but you cannot deny the dreamer. You can say that it was a dream, but you cannot say that "I was not." Even in a dream your existence is absolutely necessary; otherwise, how will the dream happen?
So the only thing in the religions of meditation is "I am." And now the question is to discover who I am.
Meditation is only a methodology to discover who I am. It is purely scientific.
Jesus was not doing meditation. He was praying, praying to the Jewish God - who is not a very good or nice fellow. In all the gods of the world, he is the worst. And it is not that I am saying it, he himself says it. In Talmud he says it: "Remember that I am not a nice God; I am terrible, I am very jealous, I am revengeful. If you go against me, you will be thrown into hell. I am not your uncle!"
- Because uncles are nice people, more than fathers. He makes it clear, "You have to be afraid of me." And it is fear that will make you religious.
In India Mahatma Gandhi used to pray every morning, every evening, and after prayer he will give a small speech. One of his sons was my friend. Gandhi had died; Ramdas, who was taking care of the ashram where Gandhi used to live, became interested in me. He was a man of really very sharp intelligence. He became interested in me because I started criticizing Gandhi. And it was very strange that all the Gandhians became my enemies, and Gandhi's own son became my friend.
He invited me to be with him. He said one thing to me, "When I heard about your statement in the newspapers, I read it, that Gandhi after his every prayer meeting used to say, 'I am not afraid of anybody except God,' and we have been listening to this from our very childhood," Ramdas told me, "but we had never thought about it. And when you criticized it we realized that to be afraid of God simply means your religiousness is out of fear - it is not out of love."
If I was in the place of Mahatma Gandhi I could say, "I can be afraid of everybody but I cannot be afraid of God" - because to be afraid of God destroys the whole basis of being religious.
But fear has been the base of all the religions of prayer.
The Talmud declaration of God that "I am terrible" is just to help you to pray, not to go astray, to obey, not to be a rebel.
And Jesus was not a rebel, as many understand him to be. He was born a Jew, he lived as a Jew, he died as a Jew. In fact, he had never heard the word 'Christian'. He had never known that he would be known to the world as Jesus Christ.
'Christ' is from the Greek, and he knew not even Hebrew. He used only his own local language, Aramaic. He was uneducated. Hebrew was of the educated people, scholarly people - rabbis. He used only the local villagers' language, Aramaic.
In those forty days he was praying. And what can you pray for? Whenever you pray you are always begging; prayer is, deep down, begging. On the one hand it is begging for something, on the other hand it is impressing God that you are great, you are the greatest of the great.
On the cross Jesus was waiting just as everybody else was waiting, expecting that some miracle is going to happen. Nothing happened. And after a few hours, when nothing happened, he looked many times up into the sky, hoping that angels will be coming with their harps playing on the white clouds. Not even a white cloud appeared. Finally he had a breakdown and he shouted at God, "Have you forsaken me?"
Naturally a man who had lived his whole life fanatically with belief, who had risked his life, and was hanging on the cross - and God is absolutely absent - it is natural that he should ask "have you forsaken me?" A doubt has entered into his mind. Doubt was always there, hidden behind a belief system.
If he had been a meditator, things would have been totally different. He would not have declared that he is the only begotten son of God. He would not have declared that he is the messiah the Jews have been awaiting for centuries. He would not have declared that he has come to redeem humanity, that he is a savior. These are impossible statements from a man of meditation.
A man of meditation knows there is no God. He knows there is godliness, a quality but not a person; not like a flower but like a fragrance. And godliness is all over, you just have to be alert and awakened at the center of your being.
And there is no question of the only begotten son, and the meditator knows that nobody can save you except yourself because nobody can enter into your center. That is your privilege and your privacy. You can be killed, but nobody can touch your innermost being, for good or for bad.
A meditator cannot say, "I can save you," or "I can save the whole humanity," or "I am the savior."
A meditator cannot say, "I am a messiah, a messenger" because there is no God who is sending messiahs and messengers.
A meditator can do only one thing. He can make himself available to you with all his joy, with all his grace, with all his dance, with all his beauty. He can remind you in a certain way that the same reality lies asleep within you. He can only become a pointer. He can show the finger pointing to the moon, he cannot take you to the moon.
If Jesus had meditated, there would have been no crucifixion, and without crucifixion the world would have been saved from Christianity.
That's why I say that he did not meditate and he has left the world in the hands of Christians who have done every crime against humanity and who are still doing every crime against humanity.
Meditation cannot be violent. Even to convince you is not possible for the meditator. He can only communicate. He can only commune with you in a deep friendship and love, "I have found something. Perhaps you can find it too. Just look within." He can tell you how he has looked within himself and how he has found the very source of life.
But he is not a prophet. He does not claim any speciality, he does not claim that he is higher than you. He simply says he is as ordinary as you are, with just a little difference - that he has opened his eyes and you are still snoring.
There is no trinity the way Christians conceive it. The father, the son, the holy ghost - in fact, the whole idea is anti-feminine, it is against women.
In the divine trinity there is no place for any woman. There is a place for a ghost, and I don't think that he is holy because this is the guy who made poor Mary pregnant, and if he is holy then every rapist is holy. This is the most unholy ghost, but there is a place for him.
And what kind of family - father, son and holy ghost? Where is the mother?
No, the woman cannot be accepted as part of God.
This is the conspiracy.
Otherwise it would have been far better: God the father, God the mother, God the son; it would have looked more contemporary, a beautiful family, using birth control - because centuries have passed and only one son.
And the pope and Mother Teresa and all these people go on around the world teaching people against birth control and their God has been practicing it for millions of years. They cannot see a simple fact. But it is ugly simply because there is no place for woman. The whole idea is fiction, but even in fiction the woman has equal rights to man but she has been denied.
Even Jesus behaved very rudely with his mother. Once he was speaking in a crowd and somebody shouted from outside, "Jesus, your mother has come to see you and she is here. When you are finished, come out of the crowd."
And Jesus said, before the crowd, "Tell that woman" - he could not even call her his mother - "Tell that woman that I have only my father, who is in heaven. I don't have any relationship on the earth with any man or with any woman." Simply ugly.
But almost all the religions have been doing this to the women of the earth.
The other trinity, the trinity of meditation, is certainly a reality - body, mind and the witness.
Body is nature, body is part of the earth.
Mind is part of the society, of the whole human heritage.
And the watcher is your own individuality.
This is a real trinity. There is no question of man or woman because the witness is neither man nor woman. The body will go back to nature as you become awakened, mind will disperse back to the society as you become awakened, and the witness will go back to what I call the godliness that surrounds the whole existence.
But the Christian trinity is ugly. You can create a trinity for meditators which is far more real and far more useful.
The body has to be taken care of, has to be respected, has to be loved. It is your home.
The mind has to be cleaned from any rubbish, from any dust that may have gathered during millions of years of journey, and the moment you have cleaned the mind you will find the hidden reality of your being, the witness.