The first question
DO YOU REALLY LOVE SOMENDRA STILL?
MY LOVE is not conditional. Love cannot be conditional - either it is or it is not. It is not caused by anything, hence nothing can disturb it. But you know something else in the name of love: you know only infatuation, attraction, lust. Your love is nothing but a subtle strategy to exploit the other, hence it is bound to disappear sooner or later - and you will find enough reasons why it disappears.
But my love is not a relationship. I love you because I am love. Even if I want to I cannot unlove you.
What Somendra does, what he says, how he behaves does not matter at all as far as my love is concerned - his doings and sayings are absolutely irrelevant. My love continues and will continue.
And that is the only hope for him, because he is a tremendously intelligent person and he has tasted something of my love; he has known his heart opening up a few times. One time he was very close, very close, but missed only by inches. One can come to the abyss and can turn back. One step more and he would have been what he is now pretending to be.
Hence he will miss me, immensely he will miss me, and sooner or later he will be back. And I will invite him back whenever the time is ripe, whenever I feel that this is the time for him to put his ego
aside and come back home. But I will have to wait for the right moment. It is difficult to find the right moment, it is very easy to miss it.
Gautam the Buddha used to say that life is like a vast palace with thousands of doors. All the doors are closed except one. And a blind man on a dark, dark night has lost his way in the palace. There is nobody who can show him the way out; all the guards are gone, the palace is utterly empty. He stumbles, gropes, he tries to find the way out, and he passes thousands of closed doors. Slowly slowly - and naturally - he becomes convinced that no door is open.
And then suddenly he comes to the door which is open. But he has tried and touched and groped and always found ten thousand doors closed. He feels so tired, exhausted, that he thinks, "This door is also going to be closed. Why bother?" And he passes the door without making an effort to see whether it is closed or open. Again he will have to pass thousands of doors. One never knows when the next opportunity will be when he will come back to this door which is open.
And any small excuse - just an itching in the head - and he can miss it. He can start scratching his head and he can miss it. Just a thought in the mind, and he can become distracted and he can miss it. A fly can distract him; a noise, a dog barking somewhere outside is enough.
This story Buddha has repeated many times because it is so true about life. And Somendra has missed the open door this time. I will have to wait for the next time when he is again close to it. But man remains always unpredictable; nobody can say anything about it, when the next moment Will come - just the next moment may be the moment or it may take years. But love is always open, always ready to take you back.
And I was aware of certain things which were going wrong in him. That's why I told him to go to the West, because it was becoming difficult for him here. He was boiling with negativity inside and there was no possibility to express it here. I have sent him to the West so he can cathart - this is just part of catharsis. Soon he will realize it because he is not a stupid person; soon he will realize where he has gone wrong. And the moment he realizes it I will call him back.
Another question has been asked about Somendra by Prabhu Maya. She says: "Osho, you keep telling us that we are enlightened and all we need to do is to become aware of it. So what is wrong with Somendra declaring himself enlightened and dropping sannyas?"
Maya, I keep telling you that you are enlightened - but you are not to believe me. You have to experience it. And if you experience it you cannot drop sannyas; it is impossible. Because you experienced it through sannyas, how can you drop it? You will be immensely grateful to it. And if you experience what I am saying to you, you will not be in a hurry to declare it; in fact, you will hide it, you will wait for me to declare it. There is no need for you to declare it. The moment one becomes enlightened there is nobody to declare it; there is no desire to declare it.
And that's what Somendra was trying here in every possible way. He was restless; he was trying and asking me in direct and indirect ways to declare him enlightened. But how can I declare unless you have experienced it? When he experienced satori I did declare it. But there is a difference between satori and samadhi.
Satori means only a glimpse, a faraway glimpse. Satori is a Japanese word, very beautiful, untranslatable, but it can be described. It is like on an open day when there are no clouds you can see in the sun the Himalayan peaks, the virgin snow on the peaks shining like silver or gold, from thousands of miles away. You are seeing the truth, but the distance between you and the truth is there - you are not it. This is satori. Seeing the truth but not being it is satori.
Then there is the Sanskrit word samadhi which is also untranslatable. Samadhi means being the truth: where the knower and the known become one, where the experienced and the experiencer are one. It is no more a question of an open, unclouded day, it is no more a question of the sunlit peaks rising high in the sky. You are it! - not even the distance of a single inch.
Chuang Tzu says: Even the distance of a hair is enough, and heaven and earth fall apart. Just the distance of a hair - not much at all, almost negligible - but it is enough to separate earth from heaven. When even that much difference is not there, one is enlightened.
Somendra has not yet experienced it. He has immense desire to experience it - that desire is becoming a cause of his misery. That desire is the hindrance, because to desire anything means you are in the mind. All desires are in the mind, even the desire for God, the desire for enlightenment, the desire for truth, for freedom - all desires. Desire as such is part of the mind. And mind is the barrier, not the bridge.
The last desire to leave is the desire for enlightenment. And, of course, because it is the last desire it becomes very intense. All the energies involved in all other desires - for money, power, prestige, et cetera - all become concentrated on a single desire, the desire for enlightenment. It imprisons more than any other desire because aU other desires are divided: there are many millions of desires, and your energy is fragmented. But the desire for enlightenment, your whole energy pours into it. It is the thickest and the strongest chain that keeps you imprisoned, and it is the last to give way.
And that desire is surrounding him very deeply. He has come to the last desire, and that is a great advancement, that is a great achievement. It is no mean achievement, mind you; it is one of the greatest achievements, to come to a single desire. In a way it is very strong; that is its danger. In another way, because it is only one desire and you have been able to drop so many desires, you can drop it too. But because of this desire to become enlightened he is getting caught.
I feel very much for him because he is one of those few sannyasins who were coming close to the ultimate. I hope that soon he will understand the mistake.
Prabhu Maya, your question shows something about you too. It is not really about Somendra - Somendra is just an excuse. The way you have formulated the question shows something about you. You say: "You keep telling us that we are enlightened and all we need to do is to become aware of it. So what is wrong with Somendra declaring himself enlightened and dropping sannyas?"
Both these desires must be in you too: to declare yourself enlightened and to drop sannyas. In the name of Somendra you are trying to defend something unconscious in you. Become aware of it.
Nothing is wrong in being enlightened, but Somendra is not yet enlightened - I know him far more deeply than he knows himself. Nothing is wrong in dropping sannyas - many people drop sannyas and I don't care a bit. But about Somendra I do care, because he was so close. Just the last rung of the ladder... and he has dropped the ladder.
If the person who has not even started the journey drops, who cares? He is not even on the path and he drops. In fact, he is not dropping anything because he has nothing. But Somendra had something precious. And dropping sannyas iS not just dropping sannyas; it is disconnecting yourself from me.
And all that has happened to him has happened through the connection. I am still connected, but from his side something has gone wrong.
It is like when you phone somebody: from your side everything is clear - you can hear the other person - but from his side something is wrong - he cannot hear you. Communication becomes impossible.
That's what has happened: from my side everything is clear, from my side everything is as it has always been - the same love, even a little more, if a little more is possible. But from his side he has put down the phone. He will realize it soon and he will see that he has harmed himself. But sometimes it happens: unknowingly, unconsciously, one can become a victim of some deeprooted desire. And the desire for enlightenment is in everybody.
Enlightenment simply means becoming full of awareness, and he is not yet full of awareness. Yes, once in a while like a breeze the awareness comes to him, and in those moments one can be befooled and deceived, but it has not become his state. If it had become his state there would have been no restlessness in him for it to be recognized or for declaring it. When I am here to declare your enlightenment, you need not.
And it is impossible to drop sannyas after enlightenment - you will feel so grateful that doing such an ungrateful act is inconceivable.
The second question
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO SHOW INDIA "LOVE," YET MOST INDIANS WHO COME HERE, WHEN FACED WITH LOVE, SEE IT ONLY AS LUST. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT IT?
MIND of India is one of the most ancient minds in the world, hence it has its problems. A child has no problems - they are yet to arrive - but the old man has a long past, and the whole past goes on becoming bigger and bigger every day. It is accumulative. It carries a thousand and one hang-ups, obsessions, nightmares, unlived experiences still hankering to be completed...
India has one of the longest histories in the world. Compared to India, America is just a new-born child. Even the orthodox historians believe that India has lived for at least ten thousand years, without a single revolution. Revolution means destroying the old and beginning the new - then it would have been totally different.
One day I asked Mulla Nasruddin, "Your umbrella is so new, so beautiful. When did you purchase it?"
He said, "It is a miracle, Osho! It is not new, it is at least thirty years old."
I said, "Thirty years old? It looks so new - as if it has not been in the rain even a single time!"
He said, "It is thirty years old, but has been exchanged for many other umbrellas at least a hundred times.Just the other day in the temple again it happened!"
Now, if just the other day it happened again that you exchanged it for somebody else's umbrella and you still call it thirty years old, that is another matter. But India has not changed its umbrella for ten thousand years - and that is according to the very conventional, orthodox historians. If you listen to the Hindu chauvinists, then India has lived at least ninety thousand years. That was the calculation of Lokmanya Tilak - he also lived in Poona. Ninety thousand years was his calculation. Whether it is ten thousand or ninety thousand it does not matter. All that matters is it has a very long past and that past has never been broken; it still continues.
During this long past, India has lived a very repressed life. At least twenty-five centuries are perfectly well-known, historically well-known; before that things are a little vague. But these twenty- five centuries after Gautam Buddha and Mahavira are perfectly well-known. In these twenty-five centuries no other country, no other culture, no other race, has been so life-negative as India. A strange disease entered into India's heart, something like a cancer - incurable. It became obsessed with the idea that if you want to attain to God or liberation you have to be life-negative, you have to renounce life - as if God is against life.
Now this is the most stupid thing that can happen to any country. On the one hand people go on saying, "God created life, God created existence, God created us - God created everything that is,"
and on the other hand the same people, very illogically, go on insisting that "If you want to come closer to God you will have to renounce the world that he has created."
It is almost saying something like this: that if you want to love Rabindranath Tagore you will have to hate his poetry, or if you want to love Picasso you have to destroy his paintings. If God is the creator, if God is the poet, the musician, the dancer, then this whole existence is his dance, his painting, his music, his poetry, his song. This whole existence is srimat bhagavadgita, God's song. If you want to come close to God you will have to come closer to this existence.
But India has lived with this denial. Why did this denial appeal to India so much? Denial always appeals to the ego. The ego lives surrounded by no's: no, no, no. It lives in a forest of no's. The moment you are full of yes the ego starts dying - a natural death, a very effortless death; you have not to kill it. Yes is the death of the ego.
The Indian mind became egoistic about its spirituality, about its religiousness, about its sacredness, about its ancient heritage. And the more egoistic it became, the more it had to live and nourish the ego through denials.
In India, a man is thought to be a saint according to the quantity of things around him that he denies.
He denies himself food, he denies himself all the comforts of the body, he denies himself shelter, he denies himself even clothes - he denies himself everything that human nature feels comfortable with - then he becomes a great saint, a mahatma.
That's why I appear almost like a sinner; it is a natural conclusion. If denial, saying no to life, is to be a saint, then certainly I am not a saint. I say yes to life, to all its joys and beauties, to all its splendor.
I say a total, wholehearted yes. I am ready to accept being called a sinner, but I am not ready to deny life.
Love is saying yes to life. Love is nothing but saying yes to life. Hate is saying no to life. And in India the person who hates life, renounces it, denounces it, condemns it, is worshipped as a saint. And because of these people and because of this tradition and because of this conditioning, everybody has become repressed. Everybody's love energy is in a perverted state. When love becomes perverted it creates lust. Love is beautiful, lust is ugly.
When you see a woman, a beautiful woman, or a beautiful man, you can see her or him through loving eyes or lustful eyes - and the difference is tremendous but very delicate. When you see a woman through loving eyes you are seeing a roseflower or a lotus or a sunset. And if you say the sunset is beautiful and if you stop for a moment, nobody will say that this is wrong, that this is immoral. If you say that the roseflower is beautiful and if you go close to the roseflower to smell the perfume of it or even to touch it tenderly, softly, to feel its velvetiness, nobody will call you a sinner.
People will think you are a poet, a sensitive man, that you have some aesthetic sensibility.
But if you go to a beautiful woman just to touch her, to see her skin, to feel it, and to say to her, "You are beautiful!" suddenly great fear arises. This cannot be done; this is immoral - she is somebody else's woman. Or even if she is your own woman, this has to be done in privacy, as if you cannot enjoy the sunset openly - you have to hide somewhere, then you can enjoy - you cannot enjoy the starry night.
Love simply means sensitivity to beauty, to life. Lust means a desire to exploit, a desire to use the woman as a means. Lust is sexual, love is sensitive. There may be sex in love, but then it has a totally different connotation, a different meaning, a different flavor. Then it is not the center of it.
In a loving relationship sex may happen, may not happen; there is no inevitability about it. If it happens then it is part of love, of sharing energy. If it does not happen, that too is part of love. There is no need to come to the physical level; you are capable of sharing your energies psychologically, spiritually.
So love has many dimensions, at least three dimensions: the physical, which can become sex; the psychological, which becomes friendship; and the spiritual, which becomes prayer. And it is possible that in love all three dimensions may be present simultaneously, but they are all part of a loving approach towards life. There is no exploitation; there is no desire to use the other as a means and then throw them away.
Lust means sex is the center: you don't have any sensibility for beauty, you don't have any aesthetic sense. Can you think of a man of aesthetic sense going to a prostitute? Impossible. Can you think of a man who has some aesthetic sense raping a woman? Impossible. Or even hitting a woman in the crowd or just touching her body in such a way as if he was not meaning to touch her, as if it happened accidentally? This is not love, this is not sensibility, this is not sensitiveness. It is lust.
Lust means you don't respect the other at all. You have a deep, repressed desire, repressed
sexuality which comes in many perverted ways. Then your eyes become covered and colored with only sexuality.
The most important thing in the Indian mind is sex. Hence every day so many rapes happen, and no woman is safe walking on a street. How many sannyasins have written to me, particularly women sannyasins, saying, "Is it not our right to walk alone under the stars in the sky? Are we not human beings? Don't we have such a simple human right?" But in India it is impossible.
Just the other day a young woman sannyasin was attacked by four Indians. Of course she screamed, and some sannyasins reached in time; otherwise they were going to rape her - they had torn her dress apart. And this is not just one accident, it has been happening every once in a while for almost six years.
The Indian mind is so sexually repressed that it cannot love, it can only lust. And once the lust is there you start looking at everybody else in the same way; that is your language.
When two Western sannyasins are hugging each other and the Indian - any Indian - sees them, the only idea in his mind is that of sex and lust; he cannot understand love. Not a single sannyasin from the West in these six years - and thousands have come, at least fifty thousand people come every year - has raped any Indian woman. But hundreds of attempts have been made by the Indians on Western women, and not only by ordinary people but even by police officers. Even to go to the police station is dangerous! Everywhere there are wolves - and these are very spiritual wolves, very religious! But they know only one language: that of lust.
Two drunkards were walking home across a bridge, when one suddenly lost his balance and fell into the river.
"Help! Help!" echoed from under the bridge.
The help took a little while coming. When they found the drunkard, he was already dead.
"What happened?" asked his friend.
"He drank too much water," was the reply.
"Poor guy," exclaimed the drunkard, "it was the first time he drank water!"
Two little Indian pigs were chatting.
"What a boring day! Nothing happening!"
"Yeah!" sighed the other.
"Got any ideas for an adventure?"
"No, have you?"
"Well," said Pinky, "why don't we go down to the butcher shop and have a look around?"
"What for?" asked his friend.
"To see if there is any new naked lady!"
Sex can be raised to higher levels of love and prayer, and sex can also be reduced to lower levels of lust and animality. Sex can become a conversion or a perversion; it has both the possibilities. And because of twentyfive centuries of continuous condemnation, every Indian is full of perverted ideas.
A farmer lived with his young, voluptuous, blonde haired daughter who was a virgin.
One day three young men came and asked to stay the night. The farmer agreed, but to protect his daughter's virginity he placed a chastity belt with steel claws around her vagina.
The next morning the farmer woke the three young men, shouting, "Drop your pants!"
One young man dropped his pants, showing his tool all mangled and bloody. The second young man dropped his pants, showing his tool all mangled and bloody, but the third one revealed his manhood still intact.
"Ah," said the farmer, "at least one of you is moral and decent! Thank you, young man!"
Shaking his head, the young man opened his mouth, scattering blood and broken teeth in all directions.
Life should be lived naturally, life should be lived according to the laws of nature - not according to the laws of Manu, not according to the ascetics, not according to the saints, but according to the Dhamma. Ais dhammo sanantano, Buddha says: This is the eternal law. We have to find the eternal law in things, how the whole universe runs in a harmony, how there is such tremendous order. It is not a chaos, it is a cosmos. Man has also to become a cosmos, and it is possible only through love.
You ask me, Krishna Prem, how to help them. The only way to help them is to persuade them to meditate, to be here, to become more sensitive, more aesthetic. It is a great work because to change such a big country with such a nonsense past it is not an easy job. But it is a challenge and worth accepting!
The third question
OSHO, DURING LECTURE RECENTLY, I SOMETIMES GET THIS ALMOST IRRESISTABLE URGE TO JUMP UP AND DOWN, WAVE MY ARMS AND SING OR MAKE NOISES. I AM SCARED THAT ONE DAY I WON'T BE ABLE TO CONTAIN IT AND I WILL CAUSE A DISTURBANCE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
YOU NEED not worry. That is the responsibility of the guards! That is for them to think what to do.
What can you do? If it becomes irresistible, if you cannot contain it anymore, what can you do? What can I do? That's why we have the guards, just to divide responsibility - that is their responsibility.
But why is this happening to you? Just meditate over this story:
A man lost his prick in an accident. Quite upset, he went to see a doctor to ask if anything could be done "Well, you're lucky," said the doctor, "I have an elephant's trunk in my fridge and if you don't have any objections, we could do some surgery and use it as a replacement."
Happy that there was some solution, the man agreed. After a successful operation the man returned home satisfied. A few weeks later he went to see the doctor for a check up.
"Everything okay?" the doctor asked.
"Oh yeah, doc, it's fine!" he answered. "It's jolly good, this new instrument."
The doctor turned to the man's wife and asked if she had any problems with it.
"No," she replied, "but when we visited the movies last time, something strange happened. James really started to get turned on. He started jumping up and down in his chair and snorting all the time.
When I asked him what was happening he said, with eyes big and red and sweat dripping from his forehead, "Can't you see the bag of peanuts on the chair in front of us?"
Veechi, you better go to the Medical Center. You need a total check up! Do you see a bag of peanuts in front of you? What makes you so excited? So leave it to the Medical Center and to the guards, and don't bother me about such problems. Once in a while I expect such things to happen!
The fourth question
WHY IS IT THAT EVERY RELIGION BOASTS ABOUT BEING THE GREATEST AND TRUEST RELIGION IN THE WORLD?
IT IS strange but it is true that although religions have been teaching people to be egoless, they have only succeeded in making people egoists. Maybe they have helped people to get rid of the gross ego - which is not very difficult because the gross ego is very clearly seen by everybody - but they have created a bigger problem than that. Their solution has been a curse, not a blessing: they have created a very subtle ego in people.
The gross ego is direct. The newly rich you can see by his eyes, by his nose, the way he walks, the way he talks - you can see the gross ego, very gross. The politician when he is in power, you can see. It is not difficult; it is very tangible.
But the religious person has a very subtle ego; he says, "I am a humble man." In fact he wants to be recognized as the humblest man in the world, and that is the subtle ego.
Once a Sufi fakir was brought to me and his disciples said, "He is a very humble man." When he came, he really touched my feet, and his disciples looked at me with their eyes saying, "Look, how humble he is!" And he said to me, "I am nothing but dust on your feet!"
I said, "I can see you are!" And he was offended. I said, "This is strange! You yourself are saying that you are just dust on my feet and nothing else. I can also see that you are right. You are absolutely right! I don't deny it, I agree! But why are you becoming so angry with my agreement?"
In fact, he wanted something else: he wanted me to say, "You are so great, so humble, so simple!
You are a man of God!" Then he would have been happy.
Religions have created a very subtle ego in the world. You will see it in the saints, in the mahatmas, in the sages - a very subtle ego. But it is there and it is far more dangerous because nobody can see it unless he has tremendous intelligence. And the person himself may not even be aware of it; he may really think he is a humble man. Because of this humbleness, which is cultivated from the outside and has not arisen from inner vision, the ego goes into a hiding place; it starts moving in the unconscious.
That's what I mean when I say "the subtle ego." The gross ego functions in the conscious mind; it is available. You can see it, you can pinpoint it. The subtle ego goes into unconscious layers. It goes deeper in you, in such dark spaces where it can work without your being aware of it. Then it finds vicarious ways: it will claim that "My religion is the greatest religion!" It is not concerned with the religion at aU; it is an effort of the subtle ego to prove itself great - greater than others. But now it cannot say it directly; it has to say it indirectly, via something. It will say, "My country is the greatest country in the world." Every race believes that. "My race is the purest in the world." Every race believes that. "My people are the greatest people on the earth." Everybody believes that. "My religion, my scripture, my morality, my culture" - but the emphasis is on "my." Whether it is religion, culture, society civilization - it does not matter what it is - the emphasis is on "my," and behind "my"
is hiding the "I."
AU these religions go on boasting, fighting with each other, trying to prove themselves greater. Ask the Indians; they will say their country is the holiest country in the world. Why? - because the twenty-four avataras of the Hindus were born here; they had chosen India to be their birthplace. Ask the Jainas; they will agree, but for a different reason - not because of the twenty-four avataras of the Hindus. They don't think them of any value; one of the Hindu avataras, Krishna, has been thrown in hell by the Jainas! India is great and sacred because of the twenty-four teerthankaras, the Jaina Masters, the Jaina enlightened ones. It is a different reason on the surface. Ask the Buddhist. He will say, "Yes, India is the greatest country because Buddha was born here" - not Mahavira, not the Jaina teerthankaras.
In fact, the Buddhist has never accepted Mahavira as an enlightened person. The Buddhists have always condemned Mahavira as a little perverted because he was moving naked - something is wrong with the man! In contemporary language you can say the Buddhist has always thought of Mahavira as a masochist, torturing himself.
And ask the Jaina: he thinks the Buddha was not a real ascetic - he lived in a little bit of comfort.
He was not a real ascetic like Mahavira, moving naked in the heat, in the rain, in the cold, in every season, and almost starving. There is a record of his twelve years of spiritual exercises in which it is said that he ate only once every week or every month - only once. Sometimes he would eat after one week, sometimes after two weeks, sometimes after three weeks, sometimes after four weeks - only once. In the whole twelve years he ate only three hundred and sixty-five times; that comes to one year. On average, in twelve days he ate only once. Now this is asceticism! Buddha eats at least once every day; he lives in comfort. He is a good man but not enlightened, not yet enlightened - according to the Jainas he will need at least a few more births to become enlightened. But the Buddhist thinks India is the sacred land because of the birth of Buddha. The same is true about others.
Jews think they are the chosen race of God because God himself delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses. In fact, I have heard the story that first God asked other races, "Would you like to have Ten Commandments?" He asked the French and they said, "They are so much against adultery, we don't want them!" He asked the Hindus and they said, 'They are so much against greed, we don't want them." And so on and so forth. Finally he asked Moses, "Would you like to have the Ten Commandments?" And Moses said, "How much will they cost?" He did not ask at all about what those Ten Commandments were - a Jew is a Jew! - he asked, "How much will they cost?" God said, "Nothing." Then Moses said, "Yes, you can give me ten, twenty, thirty, as many as you want!"
But Jews think they were the chosen people - God has given them the Ten Commandments - and they still think they are the chosen people. They have suffered for three thousand years just because of this stupid idea that they are the chosen people, but they insist that they are the chosen people and Jerusalem is the sacredmost place on the earth.
And the Christians think in the same way because their religion is born out of the only source, the real source, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And they make it absolutely clear that he is the only begotten Son of God, otherwise others may start claiming for other sons of God. God has only one son: "One God, one son, one religion" - and that is Christianity.
And ask the Mohammedans; they say, "Yes, the Bible was sent by God, Moses gave his first version to the world, but then man progressed and a new, more sophisticated edition was needed; that was given by Jesus. Then the world progressed still more; the last edition is the Koran. And God has said in the Koran that now there will be no more books coming from above - this is the last. And the last is bound to be the best."
Remember how the logic works: the Hindus say, "The Vedas are the first, and the first is bound to be the best. " And Mohammedans say, "The last - and the last is bound to be the best." But the deep desire is simply one: that "We are the highest, the greatest, the best people in the world." And we go on finding reasons, excuses, rationalizations, but it is nothing but human stupidity and human ego.
Four union members were discussing how smart their dogs were. The first was a member of the Vehicle Builders Union and said his dog could do maths calculations. His dog was named T-Square and could go to the blackboard and draw a square, a circle and a triangle with consummate ease.
The Amalgamated Metal Workers Union member said his dog was much better. He then told his dog, named Slide Rule, to fetch a dozen biscuits and divide them into four piles. Slide Rule did all this without problems.
The Liquor Trades Union member admitted that both dogs were quite good, but he felt his dog could do much better. His dog, named Measure, was told to go and get a stubby of beer and pour seven ounces into a ten ounce glass. The dog did this without a flaw.
They turned to the Waterside Workers Union member and asked him, "What can your dog do?"
The Waterside Workers member called his dog, named Tea Break, and said to him, "Show these bastards what you can do, mate!"
Tea Break went over and ate the biscuits, drank the beer, pissed on the blackboard, screwed the other three dogs, claimed he injured his back, filed a workers' compensation form and shot through on sick leave.
It is the same - whether about dogs or about religions, it is the same ego persisting, trying to prove that "I am better than you, holier than thou." It can be allowed to dog-owners because they are not much better than dogs - otherwise who bothers to own a dog? But to religious people it cannot be allowed, it cannot be forgiven. Their whole message is of egolessness. Hence to brag and boast that "My religion is the best" is sheer nonsense. It is ridiculous, it is absurd.
And once the religions stop boasting about their religions' greatness, all unnecessary conflicts in the world will disappear. Otherwise small things. just small things, are enough to create quarrels. And even amongst those who belong to the same religion there are sects and sub-sects.
Jainas have two sects, the digambaras and the svetambaras. The only difference is that the svetambaras think Mahavira was not naked, although he appeared naked, His clothes were given by gods and they were invisible, transparent. All the women here would feel jealous - transparent clothes, and given to Mahavira! They should be given to the modern woman, to the contemporary woman. All that she wants is clothes which don't hide anything but expose. Now transparent clothes - a great discovery, given by the gods! So it was only to fools that he appeared to be naked, other vise he was completely clothed.
And the digambaras say that he was naked. Now according to the svetambaras, the digambaras are fools: they could not see that he was not naked, although he appeared naked. And the digambaras think that the svetambaras are just destroying the whole religion, because Mahavira's nakedness proves his innocence, that he was like a child, and they are destroying the whole thing. That is the only difference, the uniqueness. Neither Jesus is naked nor Mohammed nor Moses nor Buddha nor Krishna nor Confucius - nobody else amongst the great founders of religion is naked. Mahavira's nakedness is his specialty!
This is their fight, and they quarrel and continuously argue. For two thousand years they have been writing against each other and trying to prove who is right. And the point upon which they disagree is so stupid, so childish!
What is the difference between Protestants and Catholics? Nothing at all, nothing as far as any essential teaching of Jesus is concerned - just ordinary invented theories, dogmas, theologies.
This man Luther was an egoist, as all so-called saints are, and he could not tolerate that the Pope should be the only mediator between humanity and God. He claimed himself to be the mediator, direct, not via the Pope. He received messages direct from God. Why should he receive them from the Pope? If the Pope can receive direct messages, why not Luther? That is the only difference between the Catholics and the Protestants, then everything else is just dust raised, smoke created to confuse people.
The essential core of all religions is not different, but different egos are in conflict. If you look at the essential core of meditations you will find only two things: one is meditation, the other is love.
Meditation makes you capable of being alone and joyous, with no need of the other, and love makes you capable of sharing your joy with others. Meditation is inner, love is outer. Meditation is of the interiority and love is of the exterior.
And because these two sides have to be balanced, meditation and love balance each other. These are the two words, two aspects of the same coin, which are essential to every religion. You can call meditation prayer, you can call meditation by some other name, contemplation; that is immaterial.
What name you give to love is immaterial: you can call it prayer, you can call it compassion; that is immaterial.
A man who is intelligent will be able to see that all the religions are basically one. And in the future that is the only hope: if we can bring all the religions to this understanding, to this realization, that the essential center is one... On the circumference we may differ, but those differences are only of detail and of no real consequence. But the egos won't allow this to happen.
And religious people cannot be forgiven; everybody else can be forgiven. I can forgive a sinner, but I cannot forgive a saint, because the saint's whole life should be a proof of egolessness, but it is not so. And we have to change this whole situation.
We have to bring a religiousness into the world which is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Jaina nor Buddhist - just pure religiousness. That will be the greatest revolution, and humanity is waiting for it.
THE OTHER DAY YOU SAID THAT PUNDIT KOKA, WRITER OF THE KOKA SHASTRA, MUST HAVE BEEN THE DISCOVERER OF COCA-COLA. THAT EXPLAINS "COCA, " BUT WHAT ABOUT "COLA"
MEDITATE on this small story:
Grandma Zottola who has been voting in America for thirty years finally decided to become a citizen.
She arrived in court on the appointed day. The first part of the test was on American history. The judge held up a picture of Abraham Lincoln and asked, "Who is this?"
"That's-a Abraharn-a Lincoln-a," replied Mrs. Zottola. His Honor then held up a picture of George Washington. "And who is this?" he inquired.
"That's-a his wife-a!" answered Grandma with pride.