"I have come for knowledge, not for any sort of discipline" «Pythagoras»
"I will explain this to you. One example will be helpful. I was in a city. One man came; he was a Mohammedan, but I didn't know, I was not aware. And he was dressed so that he looked like a Hindu. He not only looked like a Hindu, but he talked as if he was of the Hindu type. He was not a Mohammedan type.
He asked me one question. He said, "Mohammedans and Christians say that there is only one life. Hindus, Buddhists and Jains say there are many lives — a long sequence of lives, so that unless one is liberated one goes on and on being reborn again and again. So what do you say? If Jesus was an enlightened man, he must have known. Or Mohammed, or Moses, they must have known too if they were enlightened men that there are many lives and not just one. And if you say that they are right, then what about Mahavir, Krishna, Buddha and Shankara? One thing is certain, that they cannot all be enlightened.
'If Christianity is right then Buddha is wrong, then Krishna is wrong, then Mahavir is wrong. And if Mahavir, Krishna and Buddha are right, then Mohammed, Jesus and Moses are wrong. So tell me. I am very much puzzled; I am in a mess, confused. And both cannot be right.'
How can both be right? Either there are many lives or there is one. How can both be right? 'He was a very intelligent man, and he had studied many things, so he said, "You cannot just escape and say that both are right. Both cannot be right. It is logically so — both cannot be right.'
But I said, 'This need not be; your approach is absolutely wrong. Both are devices. Neither is right, neither is wrong — both are devices.' It became impossible for him to understand what I meant by a device.
Mohammed, Jesus and Moses, they were talking to one type of mind, and Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, they were talking to a very different type of mind. There are really two source religions — the Hindu and the Jewish. So all the religions born out of India, all the religions born out of Hinduism believe in rebirth, in many births; and all the religions born out of Jewish thinking — Mohammedanism, Christianity — they believe in one life. These are two devices.
Try to understand it. Because our minds are fixed, we take things as theories, not as devices. So many times people come to me and say, 'One day you said this is right, and another day you said that is right, and both cannot be right.' Of course both cannot be right, but no one is saying that both are right. I am not concerned at all with which is right and which is wrong. I am only concerned with which device works.
In India they use this device of many lives. Why? There are many points. All the religions born in the West, particularly out of Jewish thinking, were religions of poor people. Their prophets were uneducated. Jesus was not educated, Mohammed was not educated, Moses was not. They were all uneducated, unsophisticated, simple, and they were talking with masses who were not sophisticated at all, who were poor; they were not rich.
For a poor man, one life is more than enough, more than enough! He is starving, dying. If you say to him that there are so many lives, that he will go on being reborn and reborn, that he will move in a wheel of a thousand and one lives, the poor man will just feel frustrated about the whole thing. ¿What are you saying? a poor man will ask. 'One life is too much, so do not talk of a thousand and one lives, of a million lives. Do not speak this. Give us heaven immediately after this life.' God becomes a reality only if he can be achieved after this life — immediately.
On other hand. Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, were talking to a very rich society. Today it has become difficult to understand because the whole wheel has turned. Now the West is rich and the East is poor. Then the West was poor and the East was rich. All the Hindu avatars, all the TIRTHANKARAS — world teachers — of the Jains, all the buddhas — awakened ones — they were all princes.
'They belonged to royal families. They were cultured, educated, sophisticated, refined in every way. You cannot refine Buddha more. He was absolutely refined, cultured, educated; nothing can be added. Even if Buddha comes today, nothing can be added.'
So they were talking to a society which was rich. Remember, for a rich society there are different problems. For a rich society, pleasure is meaningless, heaven is meaningless.
For a poor society, heaven is very meaningful. If the society is living in heaven, heaven becomes meaningless, so you cannot propose this. You cannot create an urge to do something for heaven; they are already in it — and bored.
So Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, do not talk about heaven, they talk of freedom. They do not talk of a pleasant world beyond, they talk of a transcendental world where there is neither pain nor pleasure. Jesus' heaven would not have appealed to them — they were already in it.
And secondly, for a rich man the real problem is boredom. For a poor man, promise him pleasure in the future. For a poor man, suffering is the problem. For a rich man, suffering is not the problem; for a rich man, boredom is the problem. He is bored of all pleasures. Mahavir, Buddha and Krishna, all used this boredom, and they said, 'If you do not do anything you are going to be born again and again. This wheel will move. Remember, the same life will be repeated.'
The same sex, the same richness, the same food, the same palaces again and again: a thousand and one times you will be moving in a wheel.
To a rich man who has known all pleasures this is not a good prospect, this repetition. Repetition is the problem. That is the suffering for him. He wants something new, and Mahavir and Buddha say, 'There is nothing new. This world is old. Nothing is new under the heavens, everything is just old. You have tasted all these things before and you will go on tasting them. You are in a wheel, moving. Go beyond it, take a jump out of the wheel.'
For a rich man, if you create a device which intensifies his feeling of boredom, only then can he move toward meditation. For a poor man, if you talk about boredom you are saying meaningless things. A poor man is never bored — never! Only a rich man is bored. A poor man is never bored; he is always thinking of the future. Something is going to happen and everything will be okay. The poor man needs a promise, but if the promise is a very long way away it becomes meaningless.
It must be immediate.
Jesus is reported to have said that "In my lifetime, in your lifetime, you will see the kingdom of God." That statement has haunted the whole of Christianity for twenty centuries, because Jesus said, "In YOUR life, immediately, you are going to see the kingdom of God." And the kingdom of God has not come even yet, so what did he mean? And he said, "The world is going to end soon, so do not waste time! Time is short."
Jesus said, "Time is very short. It is foolish to waste it. Immediately the world is going to end and you will have to answer for yourself, so repent."
Jesus created a feeling of immediacy through the concept of one life. He knew, and Buddha and Mahavir also knew. Whatsoever they knew is not told. Whatsoever they devised is known. This was a device to create immediacy, urgency, so that you would begin to act.
India was an old country, rich. There was no question of urgency in promises for the future. There was only one way possible to create urgency, and that was to create more boredom. If a man feels he is going to be born again and again, again and again, infinitely, ad infinitum, he immediately comes and asks, '¿How to be freed from this wheel? This is too much. Now I cannot continue it any more because whatsoever can be known I have known. If this is to be repeated it is a nightmare. I do not want to repeat it, I want something new.'
So Buddha and Mahavir say, 'There is nothing new under the sky. Everything is old and a repetition. And you have repeated for many, many lives, and you will go on repeating for many, many lives. Beware of the repetition, beware of your boredom. Take a jump.' The device is different, but the purpose is the same. Take a jump! Move! Transform yourself! Whatsoever you are, transform yourself from it.
If we take religious statements as DEVICES then there is no contradiction.
Then Jesus and Krishna, Mohammed and Mahavir, mean the same thing. They create different routes for different people, different techniques for different minds, different appeals for different attitudes. But those are not principles to be fought and argued about. They are devices to be used, transcended, and thrown."
This much for today.
«-Device = Stratagem-»
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