The Eternal Religion

First Question



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The first question:

Question 1



Prem Vinod,

I AM NOT refusing anybody, but I have to refuse your diseases, certainly. I cannot accept your diseases -- no physician can do that. And those who accept your diseases are your enemies. Your diseases have to be mercilessly destroyed, whoever you are -- Indian, German, English. Diseases come in all forms, sizes and shapes. You may be a Hindu or a Christian or a Jew; it does not matter.

The whole past of humanity has been full of many fundamental errors, but they have existed for so long that they have become almost part of you. Hence the feeling, Vinod, that I reject you. I am simply rejecting the disease. but you are identified with the disease. You think your diseases, the sum total of your diseases, is what you are. That's not true -- you are not just your diseases. You are something beyond all that has happened to you in the whole past. All that has happened is only a conditioning; it can be dropped, it has to be dropped. Hence I condemn it, but your ego feels hurt. I cannot help; I cannot have any compassion for any kind of disease.

But when diseases exist tor a long time and they are given from one generation to another generation they become very respectable. You forget that they are diseases; you start thinking that they are specialties to you.


And what is this HINDU WAY OF LIFE? It is utterly life-negative! Even to call it a way of life is not right. It can be called a way of death, but not a way of life. How anything life-negative can become a philosophy of life?

Hinduism teaches you to reject life, to renounce life. You worship the escapist people; you call them saints, mahatmas. Those who have gone against the world, those who have rejected the world, those who have condemned the world and all that it contains, they are thought to be people of God.

God exists in the manifest world as the unmanifest center of it all. The moment you reject the flower you also reject its fragrance; if you escape from the flower you are escaping from the fragrance too -- and God is the fragrance of existence. Those who go against life are going basically against God.

You have heard the proverb: Man proposes and God disposes. Hinduism does just the opposite: God proposes, man disposes. It is God's proposition -- this existence, this life, but man disposes it.

George Gurdjieff, one of the greatest Masters of this century, used to say that, "Your mahatmas are all against God" -- and he is absolutely right, one hundred percent right, because your mahatamas are denouncers. They negate. They make you feel guilty of love, of life, of laughter. They make you feel guilty if you are joyous, if you are cheerful. They make you feel guilty if you enjoy food, if you enjoy friendship, if you enjoy any kind of relationship. They make you feel guilty for all that you enjoy and they impose things upon you for which there is no enjoyment in you.

All that you can do with these negative attitudes is nourish your ego. Hence your mahatmas are the most egoistic people in the world. But when one starts thinking of diseases as if they are something great, then it becomes very difficult for him to listen to the physician.

I don't reject anybody, Vinod. To me it is all the same whether you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. Your diseases are a little bit different but not basically, because all the religions that have existed in the past have used one similar strategy, and that is to create guilt. That has been the technique of the priest to dominate you: make people feel guilty of small joys -- and of course those joys are natural and spontaneous.

And when a person becomes guilty of his own nature he starts rejecting himself, he starts dying. It is a slow kind of suicide. He becomes sad, he becomes drained off His life loses flavor. And then of course, trembling, he has to go to the priest, because the priest knows the way how to go beyond this guilt. The priest creates the guilt in the first place -- it is his trade secret -- and then you have to go to the priest because there is nobody else who can guide you. That is the business of the priest: to guide you about spiritual affairs. And you are feeling so sad, so miserable; you need help, you need somebody to support you. You need somebody to teach you ways, means, methods so that you can get rid of your guilt.

But the priest goes on creating more guilt in you. He creates so much fear of life in you that Hinduism became obsessed with the idea how to get rid of birth and death, how to get rid of AAVAGAMAN -- coming and going into existence.

Life is so beautiful!

Rabindranath, one of the great poets of all the times. was on his deathbed. A friend told him -- a very religious friend. of course -- that, "Pray to God that this should be your last life, you should be freed."

Rabindranath opened his eyes... his last moments. but he became angry and he said, "Shut up! I am praying to God that 'Your life has been such a beautiful gift to me that give it to me again and again. I would like to come back to see the sunrise, the sunset, the starry night, the flowers, a bird on the wing, the green trees, your rivers, your mountains, your people... I would like to come again and again and again! It is so vast and inexhaustible, and it has not been a misery to me.'"

Rabindranath is against your whole tradition of the so-called Hinduism. He is one of the most insightful persons that was born into this unfortunate country. He lived joyously, he lived a life of celebration. He loved poetry, created poetry He loved painting, he created many paintings. He sang, he danced.

This is true prayer! And because of this I say Rabindranath is not a Hindu. He was so much against renunciation that he dared even to write a poem against Gautam the Buddha. The poem is of immense beauty and of great meaning too.

Buddha has left his young wife and a child who was just one day old. Buddha was only twenty-nine years of age and he escaped -- that was the ancient Hindu way. He escaped into the forest to find out God.

Rabindranath describes his renunciation and describes that when he become enlightened he came back home to share his experience.

Yashodhara, his wife, asked him one question which he could not answer. He stood before Yashodhara with his eyes looking at the earth, ashamed. Only Rabindranath could have dared such a poem. What was the question that Yashodhara had asked? She had asked a very simple question: that, "Now that you have become enlightened, please answer one of my questions that has been haunting my days and my nights for all these years that you have been away. Since you left I have been tortured by this question and I have been waiting, because only you can answer it.

"The question is: whatsoever you have found in the deep silence of the forest, was it not possible to find it here in the palace with me, with your child, with your old father who has almost gone blind crying and weeping for you? And just look at me! I have become so old within these six years, just waiting every moment for you, waking up in the night again and again, maybe -- you had left in the night, you may have come again -- dreaming about you. Ask your son; he has been continuously asking me, 'Where is my father?' The whole kingdom is sad, the palace is sad; it has become a cemetery. Just answer one of my questions: Whatsoever you have found in the forest, was it not possible to find it here?"

And Buddha stood ashamed. He could not answer.

This is a parable invented by Rabindranath, but has great significance. Rabindranath is saying God can be found now and here. There is no need to go into the forest; there is no need to renounce the wife, the children, the old parents. There is no need to go against life. Going against life is like trying to go upstream, fighting with the river -- an unnecessary fight. Relax, rest, enjoy... and God can be found anyWHERE because he is EVERYWHERE.

Hinduism is life-negative; that's why it has respected the ascetics. Now, the ascetics are nothing but masochist people, absolutely ill, psychologically ill. The ascetic is the person who enjoys torturing himself, and Hindus have respected the ascetics. The more you torture yourself, the greater a saint you are. So if you lie down on a bed of thorns, thousands will gather to worship you. If you fast for months, then your name and fame will spread to all the corners of the country.

And one of the strangest things is, nobody ever asks, "What this man has contributed to life?" Lying on the bed of thorns is not a contribution; it does not make life more beautiful. it does not enrich existence in any way. Just by fasting for months is not any creative act -- it is destructive, it is really suicidal.

Hinduism is suicidal. That's why it was possible for twenty-two centuries for this country to remain in slavery -- for the simple reason nobody is interested in life, so what does it matter who rules it? It is all dream, it is all MAYA. Let anybody rule it!

This country has lost its soul, because only people who love freedom can have souls. This country only TALKS about the soul, but slaves can't have souls. But slaves can always rationalize; in fact they have to rationalize, just to console themselves.

And Hindus have become great rationalizers; they rationalize everything: "It is late, nothing can be done about it. God has decided so Not even a leaf falls from a tree without the will of God, so how can the country be a slave without the will of God? He must have chosen; we have simply to accept the fate."

And when one starts accepting the fate one becomes lazy, sloppy, lousy, because then nothing is left for you to do.

It was the morning after, and he sat groaning and holding his head.

"Well, if you hadn't drunk so much last night you wouldn't feel so bad now," said his wife tartly.

"My drinking had nothing to do with it," he answered. "I went to bed feeling wonderful and woke up feeling awful. It was the sleep that did it!"

You can always rationalize. You are not responsible -- whatsoever had to happen had tO happen. What can you do about it?

India has remained the poorest country in the world, and nobody thinks that Hinduism is the cause of it. If you believe in fate you will not endeavor to become rich, you will not make any effort to be scientific, you will not create technology, industry. You will simply wait: whenever God changes his will, things will change. As far as YOU are concerned, nothing can be done about it.

A newly-rich dame had bought a summer place in the Himalayas and hired a village woman to do the housework.

"I am a person of few words," she haughtily told the old woman. "If I beckon with my finger, that means 'come'."

"Very well, madam," replied the old Indian woman. "I am a person of few words myself. If I shake my head from side tO side, that means 'I am not coming'."

Just watch -- what you are talking about? A great religion, the greatest religion, and what it has given to you? Poverty, starvation, illness. The whole country is living undernourished, sixty percent of people are starving, and nothing is being done. Problems go on increasing, and Hindus simply go on sitting, worshipping the elephant god, Ganesha, or the monkey god, Hanuman, or the holy mother cow, and hoping that these elephants, monkeys and cows are going to help! It has become now so deep-rooted that something drastic is needed.

That's what I am trying to do. Naturally I will offend the unintelligent crowds; I can only be understood by the very intelligent few.

Barfly: "What's that drink you are mixing?"

Bartender: "I call it a rum overture."

Barfly: "What's in it?"

Bartender: "Sugar, a dash of clam juice, and rum."

Barfly: "How is it?"

Bartender: "Stimulating. The sugar gives you energy and the clam juice gives you drive."

Barfly: "And the rum?"

Bartender: "Ah, that! That gives you ideas about what to do with all that energy and drive."

I am mixing a rum overture! You need some drive and you need some ideas what to do with that drive and energy.

I am not rejecting anyone, Vinod, but I have to reject a these life-negative attitudes.

India has become a country of hypocrites for the simple reason: whenever you deny nature it is bound to happen. because the nature will assert, is bound to assert. You can repress it for a time being but not for ever, and whatsoever is repressed will take revenge with you. It will come back. with vengeance it will come back.

So on the one hand you will see the Hinduist morality the puritanism, and on the other hand you will see the Hindu obscenity.

The KAMA SUTRA of Vatsyayana was the first book on obscenity in the whole world. Only in this century Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, these people have started thinking about sexual postures, sex energy and what it is all about and what can be done about it. But Vatsyayana's KAMA SUTRAS are three thousand years old. Vatsyayana was a Hindu, and Hindus have respected him. They have called him maharishi, the great seer. On the one hand the so-called moralists and on the other hand the KAMA SUTRAS of Vatsyayana and the KOKA SHASTRA of Pundit Koka. Pundit Koka was a Kashmiri Hindu brahmin of the highest caste and his book is fifteen hundred years old, and one of the ugliest in the world. And he was an ordained Hindu.

And who has created the temples of Konarak, Puri and Khajuraho? On the one hand Hindus have been teaching BRAHMACHARYA, celibacy, as the highest goal for humanity on the other hand they were making sculpture so obscene that it is incomparable. Nowhere else in the world exists any temple like Khajuraho temples. And it was not only one temple, it was a whole city of temples. At least one hundred temples still survive; there must have been a thousand temples -- ruins are there -- and each temple has thousands of obscene postures. They must have taken hundreds of years to make. And if you see Khajuraho you will not believe...

These people who publish magazines like PLAYBOY and PLAYGIRL should come and learn from Khajuraho! Whatsoever they are doing is just ordinary. They cannot compete with Hindu fantasy -- for the simple reason because they cannot compete with Hindu repression! Once you repress something natural then it starts coming into your mind, it starts moving towards your head. It may disappear from the sex center, which was a natural phenomenon, but now it enters m your head.

This has driven the whole Hindu culture towards a very schizophrenic existence. It seem almost impossible how to relate these two phenomena going together.

Pundit Koka of Kashmir... and he is not alone. In the name of Tantra almost ninety-nine charlatans have been bringing sex from the back door. In the tradition of Tantra you will find only one percent authentic Masters; ninety-nine percent are just pseudo, tricky people. In the name of Tantra they are bringing the whole sexuality from the back door.

Pundit Koka says that if you really want to move deep into the phenomenon of sex then you have to find a woman of the lowest caste. She has not to be your wife, because with your wife you will not be able to enter into a really fantastic world of sexuality. Her topography is known to you, her geography is known to you; there is nothing to explore. So find a woman who is not your wife.

Secondly, the woman has to come from the lowest caste because they are more alive people. The higher the caste, the people are more and more bloodless. If you go to the lower castes then people are more alive, more wild. Hence I say to you that Coca-Cola must have originated with Pundit Koka -- Cola must have been his girlfriend. That's why it is so juicy! It is a discovery of the great tantrikas -- Coca-Cola!

I am not rejecting Hindus, Jews, Jains or anybody. I have no antagonism with anybody. I don't belong to any tradition, hence for me all the traditions are the same; but because I don't belong to any tradition I can see clearly the diseases. When you belong to a tradition you cannot see; your eyes are clouded, you are prejudiced.

Repression brings hypocrisy, and you can see it in India everywhere. People will talk that the world is illusory and the same time they will be as greedy about money as nobody else in the world is. This is strange -- but not really. If you go deep into it, because they are denying something natural... The world is given to you by God. If you deny it you will have to become obsessed with it; every denial becomes obsession. "Renounce the money!" these people go on saying...

If you go to Vinoba Bhave, who represents Hindu tradition, and you take a few notes in your hand, he will immediately close his eyes -- he does not see money. Now poor paper, just printed, and makes the Hindu MAHATMA SO afraid that he closes his eyes! It cannot be the currency notes; it must be some deep fear, some greed. He does not touch money.

On the one hand these people go on saying that gold is nothing but dust, but they will not touch gold.

I had asked Vinoba when I met him... He was very eager to meet me, so I said, "Okay, now it is your responsibility. If you want to meet me then I am no more responsible. Whatsoever happens, transpires, transpires!"

I asked him, "If you say that gold is just dust, why don't you touch gold? You touch dust!"

In fact, Vinoba Bhave believes in naturopathy -- mud packs, mud baths. He is very at ease with mud, enjoys it! Then what is wrong with gold? I take gold baths, gold packs! If It is the same, why bother? But it is not the same. If he is afraid of touching gold and is not afraid of touching dust, then he is being cunning, deceptive -- not only to others but to himself too. Then don't call gold just dust; then gold has some speciality which dust has not got.

You will find Hindus more greedy than anybody else, more full of sexuality than anybody else, more full of sexual fantasies than anybody else, more full of attachment than anybody else. And still you go on saying that Hinduism is the greatest religion in the world? What nonsense you are talking about? Hindus are the most dishonest people for the simple reason they have not been honest to accept the realities of life.

A man met a friend he had not seen for years and asked him how he was feeling.

"Awful," replied the friend. "In addition to my high blood pressure I have got arthritis and bronchitis."

"I am sorry to hear it. What about your job?"

"Oh, I'm still at the same thing I've been doing for the past twenty years -- I'm selling health foods."

This man must have been a Hindu! -- selling health foods, and suffering from high blood pressure, arthritis and bronchitis.

We all know the legend how Diogenes, the great Greek mystic, used to go about with a lantern looking for an honest man, even in the bright daylight. Some modern cynics ask why the cynic philosopher didn't go about in broad daylight without his lantern. Others ask why he didn't look in a mirror. Naturally enough, the legend appears in jokelore. One story tells how Diogenes had spent several hours after dark searching crime-ridden New Delhi for an honest man, and was very weary. A passerby, recognizing him, asked, "What luck?"

"Everything considered, not so bad," reported Diogenes. "I still have my lantern!"

In Delhi that is really luck if you can save your lantern, even in the bright day! Some politician is bound to grab it!

The Indian politician is the worst kind of politician in the world, for the simple reason because he belongs to a very ugly, ill, canceric civilization. Hinduism is on its deathbed, or maybe it is already dead and people are worshipping a corpse, because it stinks!

I would like to change this whole situation. Hindus, if they are courageous enough, will disconnect themselves from their past; that will be a resurrection. And they can prove, certainly, a great blessing to the whole world, because for centuries they have not worked; their potential has remained unactualized. It is like a farm which has not been cultivated for centuries. If you cultivate it right now it will give you the best crop possible, because for centuries it has been accumulating potential.

Hindus can assert a new era in the world. If they resurrect, if they drop out of their old past, if they disconnect themselves from their tradition, if they can have a new birth. then they may prove the greatest intelligent people in the world. Their contribution can not only transform THIS country, it can be a boon, a blessing to life on earth, because they have genius -- gone wrong -- they have intelligence -- gone astray. If it comes to the right dimension it will be good for their own health, it will be good for the health of the whole world.

And the same is true about other races too. Any race that remains clinging with the past remains clinging with corpses. One has to live in the present because the future is born out of the present. And India is living in the past. Out of past nothing is born; clinging to the past is wasting your time.

Everything in India is past-oriented. People are reading the story of Rama, and these are the days all over the country they will be playing the drama of Rama. Every year they go on playing the same drama; for thousands of years they have been doing it. They are not even bored by it! It seems they have lost all intelligence. They go on seeing the same thing, repeating the same thing, as if there is nothing else to do. And they go on talking about the golden age -- in the past, it is always in the past.

Remember this: a child always thinks good days are to come; the old man always thinks good days, golden days are past. The child is future-oriented, the old man is past-oriented, and the young man, if he is really young -- which is very rarely so... Physically there are so many young people in the world; they constitute the majority. But many of them either are still in their childhood psychologically, and many of them have already passed into old age psychologically.

If somebody is really young he lives in the present. Now is the only time for him and here is the only place for him. He does not waver between past and future, because both are non-existential; that which exists is the present. The young person lives in the present, and the same is true about civilizations.

The young civilization lives in the present, and if a civilization continuously lives in the present it remains young. That is the whole secret of remaining young. The new civilization, just born, immature, childish, lives in the future, and the old civilization lives in the past. You can immediately see and decide and categorize any civilization, to what category it belongs.

India lives in the past; it is getting old, shrinking. It has lost the joy of life, the youthfulness, the freshness. Countries like Russia, China live in the future. Their golden age is to come, when the classless society, the utopia conceived by Karl Marx will happen, when there will be no class, no poor, no rich, no one dominated and no one dominating, no bourgeoisie, no proletariat. When the classless society and the stateless society will be born, somewhere far away in the future, then humanity will have a golden age.

Countries like India live in the past; the golden age has passed long before. Man is falling down. There is great enthusiasm in China because the future seems to be very alluring; there is no enthusiasm in India. India became free before China, but China has been able to solve many problems which are of a vaster dimension than Indian problems because China has the greatest population in the world. But it has been able to solve those problems, it has been able to become a strong country.

India has remained poor; its problems have increased, and there seems to be no possibility that it can solve its problems the way it is moving. Its golden age has passed; there is no enthusiasm, there is no spirit. People are simply dragging.

America is young, lives in the moment, hence there is great exploration going on about everything: science, religion, philosophy, art, new forms of art, new methods, new ways to reach to the moon, to the Mars and finally to the stars, new methods, quicker methods to enter into meditation, into samadhi. In every dimension America is interested to explore; the young man's adventurous spirit is there. They are going to the farthest corners of the world to explore all possibilities.

India is old, dying; China is still born, just now growing towards a future; America is young.

Future can give you better possibilities than the past, but still future is non-existential; sooner or later you will get tired of it. Russia is more tired than China because for sixty years they have been waiting and waiting, and now the hope is turning into a hopelessness. Now it is becoming more and more clear that that stateless society is never going to happen. In fact, the state has become more powerful than ever before. Even czar was not so powerful as Joseph Stalin was. Czar was thrown hv revolution. but in Russia now there is no possibility of any revolution. The state has become such a vast, powerful, technically equipped organization that nobody can revolt against it, nobody can organize any revolution against it. Even to talk anything against it is dangerous, even to think may be dangerous in few years, because now they are discovering that every child can be fixed with an electrode in the head and that electrode will go on informing the government computer what the person is thinking, what he is trying to do in his brain. Even brain waves can be traced, subtle indications can be discovered, and before the man has even uttered a single word he will disappear.

And those electrodes can do another work also: they can implant any idea in the person and you will never be aware that you are carrying an electrode inside your brain, because within your skull there is no sensitivity. If a stone is inserted inside your skull you will not feel that there is a stone. There are no sensitive nerves in the brain.

A person carried a bullet in his brain for nine years, absolutely unaware. By accident, through X-ray, it was discovered that in the First World War he had got hit by a bullet, and then the wound healed and the bullet remained inside for nine years, and he was not aware at all.

And electrodes are very small things; just they can be inserted when the child is born in the hospital. And of course in Russia every child is born in the hospital, so every child can be inserted with an electrode and that electrode will function in two ways -- it will inform the government what the person is thinking, and it can do one thing more: the government can manipulate the person through the electrode; it can insert through radio waves, through remote control -- ideas. And the person will think, "These are MY ideas"; he will never think that these ideas are coming from some other source.

In Russia revolution is absolutely impossible, hence people are becoming more and more hopeless seeing that Marx had said state will wither away -- once capitalism is gone there will be no need for the state -- but the state has become more and more stronger. Marx' prediction has gone absolutely wrong: just the opposite has happened.

The same is going to happen to China. Right now they are very enthusiastic, but soon they will settle into the same slavery as Russia has settled.

The people who are past-oriented like the Hindus are living with a long, long dead past -- and carrying it. It is a mountainous weight; they are crushed under it. And there is no hope in the future. The Hindus think that the best days were in the beginning; they don't believe in evolution, remember -- they believe in involution. Evolution means we are reaching to higher peaks. Hindus believe we are deteriorating, coming lower, every day, the highest age was in the beginning; now we are at the lowest, KALI YUGA, the last. This is the very low state of humanity and there is no hope.

A country to be really alive, to be really adventurous, exploring, enjoying, celebrating, has to be constantly young, neither in the past nor in the future. I am against both the Hindu approach and the communist approach. I would like the whole humanity to be young and to remain young forever, and the way to remain young is to go on dying to the past and don't bother too much about the future. Future will take its own course. When it comes, if we are here we will respond to it; otherwise our children will respond to it. Why bother about it too much?

Live right now. Live as deeply and passionately as you can, because that is the only way to discover God. That's the only source to uncover the hidden secrets of life. God is not against life, God is the innermost core of life. Hence I teach a life-affirmative religion. I don't teach Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity; I only teach a kind of religiousness. The world is fed up with all these isms".

There are three hundred religions and at least three thousand sub-sects of those religions. The world needs one universal religiousness.

My sannyasins don't belong to any religion at all; they simply belong to a new phenomenon: a religionless religiousness The essential of religion, of all the religions, will be saved, but the peripheral will have to be dropped, the non essential will have to be simply burned.

And the non-essential has grown too much in Hinduism it is ninety-nine percent non-essential. And the same is true about other religions too, more or less. because Hinduism is the oldest one. Christianity is only two thousand years old, Mohammedanism only fourteen hundred years old Sikhism only five hundred years old -- of course, they are not that old so they have a little more life. But Hinduism, Jainism are very ancient -- Jainism perhaps even older than Hinduism, hence more dead, hence more in the grave, not even on the deathbed Hinduism is on the deathbed at least Jainism is already in the grave!

We need a rejuvenation, not of something old but of the essential which is eternal. I call that eternal religiousness SANATAN DHARMA: AIS DHAMMO SANANTANO -- the eternal religion. It has nothing to do with Hinduism; it is non-temporal. Meditation is the most significant part of it, and out of meditation, the transformation of your whole character.

I am not against anybody. but I have to say the truth as it is. I cannot compromise -- truth is always uncompromising. I cannot be polite either, because that politeness will not help. I have to be mercilessly hammering, continuously, on all that is wrong and all that is ill. Chunk by chunk all the non-essential, ritualistic religion has to be destroyed. When only the essential is left you will see the youngness of it, the freshness of it the fragrance of it.

And the world is now in a great need, because man as he exists now cannot exist any more. Either he has to commit a global suicide or he has to come out of the past like a snake moving out of the old skin. He has to be reborn.

Only a new man can survive; the old man is incapable of survival in the future. Science has grown so much that unless we bring religion also to the same par there will be no balance. Religion is lagging far behind and science is growing every day so speedily that if we don't bring religion also to the present, science and religion cannot meet. And in that meeting is the only hope.

The meeting of science and religion will create the new man, the new synthesis.


Next: Chapter 10, The Eternal Religion, Second Question


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Chapter 10






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