From Ignorance to Innocence 10

Tenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Ignorance to Innocence by Osho.
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God did not create people like Adolf Hitler in his own image. He created people like Jesus Christ, Hazrat Mohammed, Krishna and Buddha.
It is not a question. It is a statement, an answer, but I have not asked the question. The person seems even to know whom God created in his own image and whom God did not create in his own image. The person seems to be an eyewitness. What was he doing there? Did God create him in his own image? Then what is he doing here? But I can enjoy even answering an answer.
He says God did not create people like Adolf Hitler in his own image. What is wrong in Adolf Hitler? The followers of Adolf Hitler believe that he was the reincarnation of the great Jewish prophet, Elijah. It is as true as the Christian’s belief that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, and the Mohammedan’s belief that Mohammed is the only messenger of God. Nobody else believes it, but that is not the point. Christians believe it, the followers of Adolf Hitler also believe it.
And Adolf Hitler was a very religious man. Let me give you a little glimpse of Adolf Hitler’s life. He lived like a monk, in an underground cell. He was not interested in so-called worldly things that everybody is interested in. He was a vegetarian; he never ate any nonvegetarian food in his whole life. He remained unmarried almost his whole life – except for three hours, the last three hours. That is almost his whole life – what do three hours count? And what is possible in three hours of marriage?
The marriage was arranged after he decided to commit suicide, because he had been continually harassed by this woman: “Why don’t you get married to me?” And he always refused. He lived like a monk, absolutely alone in his cell, and he was worried that once he got married it would be difficult to live alone, this woman would force her way into his room. So he kept on postponing.
When he finally decided, Berlin was falling and the bombs were falling on the street outside the house; he could hear the bombs exploding from his cell. He immediately asked for a priest to be called so that the marriage could be arranged. Marriage for what? – to commit suicide together. Perhaps most people do the same, not knowingly. Perhaps their three hours are very long; and the longer they are, the more tedious.
A priest was somehow brought in. He quickly performed the marriage ceremony, and after the ceremony was over they drank poison and killed themselves. And his order was that petrol should be poured over them and they should be burned completely; not even a trace should be found – and that’s how it was done.
This man used to wake up every morning before sunrise. Not all monks are so religious. I know monks are supposed to get up before sunrise – but human beings are human beings. Adolf Hitler was made of a different mettle. Even in winter he would get up before sunrise, and the whole year round he would take a cold shower after getting up – the first thing, a cold shower – a very disciplined monk. He would go to sleep exactly at nine at night. He was not interested in anything that you can call bad. He neither played cards nor smoked cigarettes. His food was very simple, very frugal and he never drank wine – no alcoholic beverages.
When Germany took over France, all his generals wanted him to come to the most beautiful city in the world, but he was not interested. Beauty was not a concern in his mind at all, but because everybody was asking him – and they had done a great job of conquering France – he went there, but he stayed for only twenty-four hours in his hotel room and did not go out to see Paris.
You say God did not create Adolf Hitler in his own image. Why not – because he killed so many people? But every day God is killing millions of people – who else is killing them? Adolf Hitler was simply sharing a little bit of God’s job. People have to be killed, everybody has to die; so what is wrong in it if Adolf Hitler shares a little work, takes a little burden off God?
And he did perfectly well, far better than God himself. Sometimes it happens, the carbon copy comes out clearer than the original. He invented gas chambers, the most nonviolent method of killing man, but you cannot call it killing; killing is too cruel. In a gas chamber the person never comes to know when he is and when he is not. It is so quick: just a switch flicked on and there is only smoke – you can call it holy smoke! He did his job perfectly.
In fact Hitler had this belief, this fanatic idea that he had been sent by God to destroy all that was not right, all that was hindering the growth of the superman on the earth. He was doing it in good faith.
You cannot suspect his faith, his intention, because if he had been a little bit doubtful it would have been impossible to do what he did: killing millions of people. It needs tremendous faith, fanatic blind faith that what you are doing is the right thing. There was no doubt in his mind, no doubt at all, that he was doing God’s work: cleaning the world of all that was not in tune with the evolution of the superman.
You say God did not create Adolf Hitler in his own image. That raises a question: then who created Adolf Hitler? Are there a few other gods also? That means there is a choice; you can shop and choose in whose shape you want to be created. You can just go into the mall and choose your own god: “I want to be created in this god’s image.”
This is an old strategy of the so-called pseudo-religious people: that whatsoever is good belongs to God, and whatsoever is bad belongs to the Devil. Then who created the Devil?
God has to take responsibility at some point or other. I cannot leave him out of it. If he says that Adolf Hitler is being created by his enemy, the Devil, okay, but who created the Devil? God cannot shirk the responsibility; shrug it from his shoulders. He must have created the Devil, otherwise from where did the Devil come? And if the Devil can come from somewhere else, then anybody can come from somewhere else. So what is the need for God to create? Creation is being done somewhere else too.
God should be told, “You are not a monopolist, there are other potters – and perhaps there may be better potters, because the world that you have created does not seem to be a perfect world. And you seem to be absolutely impotent. If the Devil goes on smuggling his people into your world, what are you doing there? At least you can stop this smuggling business. And it is going on, on a tremendously vast scale. In fact your people seem to be very few, can be counted on one’s fingers, and the Devil’s people seem to be in millions.”
It is strange that God goes on sitting on his throne, gossiping with the Holy Ghost, playing with his only begotten son, Jesus; and the Devil goes on running the whole world – goes on creating Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong… The whole of history seems to be ninety-nine point nine percent a creation of the Devil.
Then why go on giving credit to God as the creator? He may be an amateur potter – once in a while he makes a pot – but the Devil seems to be the professional. Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Ivan the Terrible – just go down through history – were all these people not created by God? They were, but you are afraid to accept the fact because then your God becomes almost a devil.
You say God created men like Jesus Christ, Hazrat Mohammed, Krishna and Gautam Buddha. Let us look at these people whom you think God created. Jesus was a Jew – born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew. He had never heard the word Christian, and I don’t think that he had any idea of creating a religion called Christianity. There is no indication anywhere to even create a suspicion that he had it in mind to create a new religion, no. For his whole life he was trying to do only one thing – to be accepted by the Jews as their messiah.
Now, the God of the Jews is a Jew, Jesus is a Jew, the high priest of the Jews is a Jew. The rabbis, who are in the highest posts in the great temple of the Jews, are all religious people, very scholarly and very knowledgeable. It is difficult to find more scholarly people than rabbis; their whole life is devoted to study, to scholarship. And the high priest must have been a great rabbi; that is why he had been chosen.
They decide to crucify Jesus. A Jewish God creates Jesus in his own image, but Jewish rabbis, their high priest, and the Jewish community, do not recognize that man at all, that he is an image of God. They look upon him as a mischief-monger, as a cheat, a deceiver.
Now, if God sends his own son, can’t he send a small message to the high priest: “Please take care of my son, my only begotten son,” and they are all Jews so they all understand the same language. There would not have been any difficulty – but he remains silent. Jesus is crucified and God is silent; his image is destroyed and he remains absolutely indifferent.
In fact, Jesus was not such a disciplined man as Adolf Hitler. Jesus drank wine and even turned water into wine, which should be a crime. You try turning anything into LSD! Do that miracle and you will be in jail. Turn ordinary grass into “real grass” and you will find what it means to perform a miracle.
Now, this man was turning water into wine, and he was drinking wine without any feeling of guilt. No Hindu, no Mohammedan, no Jaina, no Buddhist will accept this man as an image of God. An image of God drinking alcoholic beverages! The image of God should be the pinnacle of consciousness, and drinking anything alcoholic is just the opposite of being conscious; it is drowning yourself in unconsciousness. It is one of the most anti-religious acts possible.
This man Jesus, although he taught about meekness and humbleness, was very arrogant himself. Buddha could not have accepted him as an image of God. His proclamation, “I am the only son of God,” is the greatest egoistic proclamation ever made. Adolf Hitler’s claim is not that great. Elijah… Who knows this Elijah? He must have looked into the Old Testament and found a name somehow appealing to him for some reason, because with Adolf Hitler you could never be sure what reason… Perhaps he was counting the numbers which numerology gives to each letter of the alphabet, and found that Elijah was a good numerological name – because these were the things in which Adolf Hitler believed: numerology, astrology, palmistry.
You will be surprised that even his attacks on countries were not decided by generals but by astrologers. In fact, this was the reason for his continual victory in the first four years – it was not that astrology is right but that his enemies could not figure out where he was going to attack. If he had been listening to his generals, then of course every other country would have been able to figure out his plans, because all the generals think in a certain way. There is a military science based on simple arithmetic: you don’t attack the enemy where he is strongest; obviously you attack him where he is weakest.
But Adolf Hitler would attack where the enemy was strongest. And the enemy would be thinking: “Here we are strongest; Adolf Hitler is not going to attack here,” so they would move their armies to the weakest point. But he was not going to attack there, because he depended on astrology. The stars were in favor of another point, so at he would attack that point.
Now, if both sides were deciding through the generals, both sides would have been absolutely clear where the attack was going to happen, because both function according to the same logic, but here there was no question of logic. And Adolf Hitler’s word was law. There was no “Why?” – that could not be asked of Adolf Hitler. You could not ask, “Why have you decided on this procedure?”
Nobody was allowed to ask – even the closest people were not close enough. Not a single man was close enough to put his hand on Adolf Hitler’s shoulder. Nobody was a friend; Adolf Hitler never allowed any friendship. The reincarnation of the prophet Elijah was far above that with you ordinary human beings crawling on the earth – and you ask him why!
So he was continually winning for four years, until Winston Churchill himself had to come down to the same rules, against his will: “This is stupid, but what to do? If you are fighting with an idiot, you have to be an idiot, otherwise you are going to be a loser.” He had to call astrologers from India, because that is where you can find the best astrologers. And the Indian astrologers felt tremendously proud, that finally even Winston Churchill had understood that: “Astrology is a science and we are far more advanced than you are.”
And with astrology entering in, Winston Churchill certainly started winning, because now he was also going crazy. He was a great general but now he was doing things against himself, against his whole reason and experience – but what to do? “That other fellow will be listening to astrologers; you have to listen to astrologers. And it is a question of victory, so it is not the time to argue about astrology; the time for that argument we can find later on. First finish this man and this mad situation.”
When Winston Churchill started listening to astrologers, he started winning because he also began attacking in a crazy way with no logic. And certainly he had stranger astrologers than Adolf Hitler, because Adolf Hitler’s astrologers were Western. You could find in London the same kind of astrologers who could tell you what those German astrologers would be suggesting to Adolf Hitler – but these Indian astrologers had a totally different astrology.
Adolf Hitler had no way to find out what these astrologers were suggesting, because both were different in their workings. Even in palmistry… In western palmistry a line indicates something; in Indian palmistry the same line indicates something else – because there is nothing written on the line. It depends on you, what you want to make out of it.
Jesus died on the cross – that does not seem to be the right place for the son of God. And if you ask Jainas, Buddhists and Hindus, you will find meaning in what they say. You will be surprised by their answer, but their answer seems to be more rational. They say, “He must have committed some great sin in his past life and this is the outcome of that great sin – the simple law of karma. Otherwise, why should he be crucified?”
No Hindu avatar was crucified, no Jaina tirthankara was crucified, no buddha was crucified – that is impossible! In fact when Mahavira, the Jaina tirthankara, walked on the road – and in those days there were no tar roads or cement roads, just muddy tracks – if there was a thorn on the road it would immediately turn its pointed part downward so that Mahavira’s feet remained unhurt and unharmed.
Because that man had finished with all his karmas, even a thorn could not hurt him – what to say of a cross! Even a thorn had to consider that: “A man is coming here who is finished with all his karmas. You cannot bother him; you had better put yourself in such a position that you don’t hurt him.” Now, these people – how could they accept Christ as the son of God, a messiah?
In Buddhist scriptures there are so many incidents described. A mad elephant was released toward Buddha to kill him. The mad elephant had killed many people; whoever came in his way, he finished them. He was kept in chains by the king, just for the simple purpose of killing criminals.
The whole royal family, their advisors and their ministers, would sit on the balconies of the palace and enjoy the game. Down on the ground the criminal would be standing; the elephant would be brought in and his chains taken off. He would rush immediately toward the man who would run and scream; and all those people would enjoy it, just as you enjoy a bullfight or Mohammed Ali’s boxing. All these are of the same type, there is not much difference. What you are enjoying is violence, because the elephant was bound to kill him – where could the man escape to?
The elephant was sent to kill Buddha, but even this mad elephant, when he saw Buddha, recognized that this man had finished with all his karmas; you could not hurt him, rather this was an opportunity to touch his feet and to earn some good karma for your future life. So he touched Buddha’s feet and sat down there. The king could not believe his eyes. They had all followed what had happened; they said to Buddha, “Only you can say what happened.”
He said, “Nothing special. The elephant is wiser than you: seeing that all my karmas are finished and I have no more to suffer, my accounts are closed, the balance sheet is complete – whatever I have done, I have suffered for it, and I am completely clean. Seeing this, the elephant thought, ‘Why miss this opportunity? Where will I find another such man?’ So he touched my feet to be blessed. In fact he is already blessed; he has already gained enough virtue – he will be born in his future life as a great buddha. He will become enlightened himself, because if he can recognize a buddha even in madness, then he is not identified with his madness. He is still aware that he is different.”
Now, do you think Buddhists will accept Jesus, the image of God, being crucified? Even an elephant can see when a buddha is there; yet those thousands of Jews were there and nobody could see, not a single person, that this man was the image of God and you should not destroy him. It is just your conditioning; otherwise no other religion is going in any way to accept Jesus.
He was mixing with people Mahavira would not allow his monks to mix with, what to say of Mahavira himself – Jesus was mixing with gamblers, prostitutes, thieves, the lowest strata of society. Mahavira would not allow it; Buddha would not allow it. And why was he mixing with those people? – because nobody else was ready to mix with him. The higher classes, the richer classes, the educated, cultured and sophisticated people were not ready to mix with this carpenter’s son: uneducated, a village idiot who was declaring himself son of God.
Only one time had a professor come to him, and that too in the middle of the night. He was a rabbi and a known professor, Nicodemus. He came in the night when there was nobody around and all the apostles had fallen asleep. Jesus was saying his last prayer before he went to sleep. In the dark came this very respected, rich rabbi, a professor in the university, and he introduced himself. Jesus said, “Why don’t you come in the day? It is the middle of the night; I was just going to sleep. I have just finished my last prayer.”
Nicodemus said, “In the day I cannot come because people will see that I associate with a man like you. I have heard about you so much that curiosity has brought me here, but in the day I will not admit the fact that I came to see you.” The higher class people were not mixing – what to say of mixing – they were not even ready to talk to this man.
This is the son of God, created in his own image – and nobody in the whole of Judea could recognize him except those few fools who had no religious education, no understanding. They were fishermen, woodcutters, farmers; they enjoyed the idea of being associated with the only son of God because that gave them the hope that: “When we reach the Kingdom of God we will be with the son, close to God. Then all these rich people, these kings, these viceroys and these rabbis will see who we are. Right now we are only fishermen, woodcutters, farmers.” So that was their hope. That’s why it was so cheap to enter the Kingdom of God with Jesus. This opportunity was not to be missed. But he could find only those twelve people in the whole of Judea.
No great religion in the East will accept him, because a man is known by his company – and his company was certainly not good. And that company became his apostles, that company created Christianity; so if Christianity is a third-rate religion there is no wonder about it – it has come from a very third-rate source. It hasn’t the profundity of Jainism or Buddhism or Hinduism; there is no comparison.
You are asking about Hazrat Mohammed. Now what do you see in Hazrat Mohammed that you think he can be proclaimed as the image of God? His hand was always on his sword, even in his sleep, his whole life was a continual war. Of course on his sword he had written “Peace is my mission.” A strange peace: that you have to write on your sword “Peace is my mission.”
And with this sword Mohammed wanted to bring peace into the world. Either you accepted that he was the messenger of God or you were finished – that was the “peace.” In both ways there would be peace: either you became Mohammedan and there was peace, or you were no longer and there was peace. Certainly that message on his sword was really meaningful. He allowed you to choose between two kinds of peace.
Mohammedanism has converted millions just on the fear of death. Man’s lust for life is such that he will be ready to do anything. And what was he asking? It is nothing to make much of a fuss about. His religion is simple: repeat the name of Allah five times, and for one month every year, the month of Ramadan, keep a fast in the day. In the night you can eat; in the night there is a feast, so the whole day you fast and in the night you feast.
This is a strange kind of fasting – in India it is just the opposite. In the night you cannot eat at all – feasting or not feasting is not the question, but while you are fasting it is absolutely impossible to eat in the night. The sun has gone down, life has gone to sleep, and this is not the time for eating.
And it seems to be rational, reasonable that when the sun is there digestion is easier. You will be working, you will be perspiring, you will be doing something – digestion is easier. When in the night the sun has gone down and you are going to sleep, if you eat, then digestion is not going to be good. It is a simple fact.
But why did Mohammed choose the other way? The reason was that the whole day they were fighting. In the night the fight had to stop because in darkness, in the desert you could not fight, so in the night you could eat and enjoy. In the day, the month of Ramadan is a month of fasting and fighting.
And when you are fighting it is good to fast so you are not bothered by food. Otherwise you need a food break, a tea break, a coffee break, and in war you cannot take all these breaks; in war you have to be totally in it, no break. In the desert, when the sun sets, war ends; you cannot fight in the night. Then you are free; then with ease, with comfort you can eat, dance and enjoy yourself late into the night and then go to sleep – and be ready again in the morning with the sword, to bring peace into the world.
In the whole of history not a single Jaina has been sentenced to death because he murdered; it is not possible. He can be murdered, but he cannot murder. Even if you give him a sword, it will fall from his hand immediately; he cannot hold it; he may not even know how to hold it. Except for the small knife that he uses in the kitchen, he knows nothing about any weapon. He will find it easier to be killed than to kill, because if you are killed you are not going to fall into hell, and if you are killed without any resistance, then heaven is yours – just the opposite of the Mohammedan.
If you kill somebody in a war of religion, jihad, what Christians call a crusade… And all wars are jihads, they are for religion; they are to convert the other person. I would not like to use the word convert.
Mohammed said that the more people you bring to Mohammedanism, the more virtue you are attaining. And if you have to kill many people, don’t be afraid, that too will be counted as virtue because you have saved those people from remaining heretics all their life. The man may have lived forty years longer, so you have saved him from forty years of a heretic’s life. That much compassion you have shown to him – strange logic! But all these pseudo-religions are full of strange logic.
Hazrat Mohammed had nine wives; God has not even one! He married nine women and allowed all Mohammedans to marry four women. The reason was that Mohammed wanted more and more soldiers, and from where to get soldiers? One woman can get married to four men but then too, in one year she will give birth to only one child, and that is absolutely uneconomical. But if four women are married to one man, then certainly they can give birth to four children in one year. He wanted more and more Mohammedans, more and more children, more and more soldiers – and this was a way to get them. But where are you going to find so many women?
For that there is also a good strategy: you can steal anybody’s woman and you can convert the woman to Mohammedanism. Now in India, a woman who has been converted by the Mohammedans – if even for one night she has remained in a Mohammedan house – will not be accepted back into a Jaina family or into a brahmin family or into a Buddhist family. That is impossible because Mohammedans are thought by Jainas and brahmins to be the worst people in the world – the woman has remained the whole night with those people and they have even converted her – and their method of conversion is something which creates nausea in Jainas, Buddhists, brahmins.
The conversion method is that you have to eat with Mohammedans from one plate. So four, five, six – as many Mohammedans as are available will all sit around a table… Their brotherhood is guaranteed now. The new person who is being converted will also eat from the same plate with them and then they will all drink from the same cup; the new person has also to drink from the same cup. Now, to any other Indian religion this is not acceptable at all. I know, because I had Mohammedan friends, and it was such a difficulty.

One of my friends in the university who was almost not a Mohammedan – he was just born a Mohammedan – because a fanatic Mohammedan cannot be friendly with me at all. Listening to me he still remained my friend; that was enough proof that he had an open mind. Professor Farid was his name, and many times he would come with me to my village, which was eighty miles from the university. Once in a while I would drive to the village just to see my father because he was so attached to me that if I did not come for eight or ten days, he would come to see me; he would not be satisfied that everything was okay without seeing me. He was always afraid that something was going to be wrong.
So rather than troubling him I used to drive there, and many times Farid came with me. I had to explain to him, “Listen, you are going to a Jaina family, so don’t feel offended – even I am not allowed in the kitchen, so what about you! They suspect me of eating with Mohammedans and Christians.”
You will be surprised that the Hindi word for Christian is Kristan. In the beginning Kristan was used for the Christian, but by and by it became associated with something wrong, something bad. So if you are doing something wrong, they will say, “Don’t behave like a Kristan.” First I was puzzled that Kristan is the Hindi for Christian, but then I understood why, because to them, a Christian or a Mohammedan belongs to the anti-religious: their religions are not worth anything.
So I told Farid, “We will be sitting outside when eating, and you will be given a special plate that is kept separate, because they know that once in a while I bring a Christian or a Mohammedan home. So they keep a whole set separate and nobody in the family will touch that set.” I had to bring it in and put it before my friend; then I had to clean it because nobody else was going to clean it. I said, “Don’t feel offended in any way; this is just how things are. And don’t disturb these people, because even this much is too much for them: that just outside their kitchen a Mohammedan is sitting; this is too much.”

So it was very easy in India to get hold of anybody’s woman and just keep her one or two days in your house; then she could not go back. Even if she wanted to, even if you were ready to send her back, she could not go back; she had to get married to you – there was no other way. But this is ugly.They converted millions of women in this way; and with the women came the increase in population.
If you convince somebody about your truth and he wants to come and belong to your fold, it seems human. But to threaten him: “You will be killed if you don’t become a Mohammedan,” and out of that threat he decides to live as a Mohammedan rather than to die as a Hindu; this is not at all religious.
In India now the constitution gives the right to have only one woman, but still Mohammedans go on marrying four women; and you cannot interfere, because if you interfere, riots immediately break out all over India. Thousands will be killed immediately and nothing will be changed. Simply thousands will be killed, thousands of houses will be burned, temples will be burned – so it is better to tolerate it. The constitution is there, the law is there, but who cares?
The Mohammedan goes on doing this because it is his religious principle, and you should not interfere in his religion. The government is secular, so it cannot interfere. It is strange, some religion can make cannibalism its principle, then you can start eating human beings and the government cannot do anything, because it is your religion and they should not interfere in religion.
You ask me about Krishna. You must have thought that I would at least accept Krishna and Buddha as the images of God – no. There is no God in the first place so how can there be any image? And whoever you bring before me as an image, I am going to hammer hard on. It is a fight with the fictitious God; it is not a fight with Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna or Buddha. If that fictitious God is finished with, much of the glory of these people will be demolished.
If there is no God, then “I am the only begotten son” cannot be said. Then, “I bring the message of God, and only my message is true because it comes from God” cannot be said. So I am trying to destroy the fiction of God. Of course I will have to beat the images too, because just by being God’s image they go on giving life to a fiction.
Krishna was one of the most cunning politicians the world has ever known; and perhaps in the future it will not be possible to have such a cunning politician. He was not a man of his word at all; that’s why I call him a politician. He would say one thing and would do exactly the opposite. He would make you a promise and he would break that promise any moment he found that it was in his favor to do so. You could not rely on him at all. His whole life was full of using people’s trust, taking advantage, deceiving, but the Hindus go on saying, “This is God’s play.”
You can always find good words for anything. The young girls of the town were taking a bath in the river and he would collect all their clothes and sit in a tree. Now, they would be asking for their clothes, standing naked in the water. Anybody else doing such a thing would be immediately taken to the police station. But in many Hindu families you will find this picture hanging – of course not in those houses where I have stayed!
Once, I said, “You should be ashamed – keeping this picture here, just in your sitting room. You think you are displaying some great religiousness – this is religiousness? If I did the same with your wife and with your daughter, then…”
The man said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Yes, if I actually do this, as Krishna was doing, that would be God’s play. Why should he be an exception?” Sixteen thousand wives stolen by Krishna, forcibly taken away from people, from their husbands and from their children… He must have created a great concentration camp for these wives. And I don’t think that he would have recognized who was his wife and who wasn’t. And I don’t think that this is in any way an exaggeration.
It used to happen in India; kings used to have hundreds of wives. Even today, the Nizam of Hyderabad, who died just a few years ago, left five hundred wives behind him – five hundred widows…one man. So sixteen thousand doesn’t seem too big a number – only thirty-two times more than the Nizam of Hyderabad. The person’s richness was counted by how many wives he had, and Krishna was certainly thirty-two times wealthier than the Nizam of Hyderabad.
A poor man could not afford even one wife; for a poor man to have one wife, only one wife, was difficult – he could not manage two meals a day for himself. So in ancient India the way to show how wealthy you were was to have many wives – and Krishna defeated everybody. Just to defeat everybody, sixteen thousand wives and sixteen thousand families were destroyed. The children may have become orphans or beggars – what happened nobody knows – and this man is thought to be the image of God! Can’t you see his cruelty? And it was not for love’s sake. He did not even know these women. How can you know sixteen thousand women? What love can you give to sixteen thousand women? What relatedness is possible with these women? They are just imprisoned to show your greatness.
With the same egoistic attitude, perhaps even stronger, Krishna said to his disciple, Arjuna, “Surrender at my feet, leaving aside everything – your doubts, your thinking – leave aside everything, just surrender at my feet. I am your salvation, I am your refuge.”
Now, anybody saying that seems to be ugly. If it were true, then even Arjuna would recognize it himself. You need not declare it, you need not persistently say to him, “Surrender at my feet.” Certainly he was not surrendering, hence the insistence. Arjuna was continually arguing, bringing doubts, questions; he was not convinced. I don’t think he was ever convinced.
I have tried hard to look into the whole conversation between Arjuna and Krishna – that is the Shrimad Bhagavadgita, the whole conversation. The way Arjuna was arguing was perfectly right and the doubts he raised were perfectly valid, but what Krishna was saying, his answers, were not justified. They didn’t dispel the doubts and they didn’t dispel Arjuna’s confusion; hence, tired of arguing with Arjuna, Krishna said, “Leave everything aside and simply surrender at my feet, because I am the perfect incarnation of God.”
But if you have to say it, then I say, you are not! If the other recognizes it even though you deny it, then perhaps there is something to it. If you are denying it, but the other goes on seeing something which is more than can be understood by the mind, which is more than can be comprehended by intellect… If the other goes on feeling it, the presence of it, the smell of it, and against your denial he says, “You can go on denying it, I don’t care; I listen to my heart, and my heart is saying something to me,” that is something totally different. But that does not happen in the whole conversation in the Gita.
Krishna simply forced him; and seeing the situation and the awkwardness of the situation – because they were standing on the battlefield, Krishna was functioning as his charioteer and both armies were facing each other, just about to begin the war for which they had been preparing for years and which was going to be decisive for the whole of India… And it proved to be decisive; it destroyed the very backbone of the country.
I find three men responsible for India’s downfall. The first was Krishna, because he destroyed India’s zest, gusto for fighting. He drove India into a kind of Third World War, in which almost the whole country was devastated and destroyed. Everybody, whosoever was alive, became so shaken and afraid of war that they were ready to do anything rather than go to war.
And then came Buddha and Mahavira who started talking about nonviolence. That appealed very much to people who were so tired of war. And they had seen such a great war that they never wanted to have anything to do with it again. It would be better to be slaves rather than to have such a war and such destruction.
Mahabharata was the name of the war, the Great Indian War; since then there have been only battles, nothing like the Great Indian War. Its magnitude was almost universal: whatsoever was known of the world at that time, every part of that world joined in the war, either from this side or from that side. Both sides were cousin-brothers and the problem was: who should inherit the kingdom?
On one side were one hundred Kauravas, one hundred brothers. Now you can see… The father was blind, yet he must have had thousands of wives – even a blind fellow managed to produce one hundred sons. His brother had five sons, the Pandavas. The conflict was: who is going to inherit the kingdom? They could not negotiate in any way, so that the only way to decide was go to war. And because it was one family, all the relatives were divided – somebody was fighting from that side, somebody was fighting from this side; a brother from that side, another brother from this side, and all their friends were there from all over the world.
You will be surprised to know that Arjuna had one wife from Mexico too – Mexican kings had come with their armies to fight on Arjuna’s side. The Sanskrit name for Mexico is Makshika; Mexico is a distortion of Makshika. Now much historical evidence has been collected and it is certain that Makshika is Mexico. In Mexico, Hindu temples have been found, Hindu gods and goddesses and their statues have been found. And the latest discovery is that there was a time when the water between Asia and America, the ocean water, was so shallow that you could simply walk from America to Asia. You could simply walk over the ocean; it was one foot deep at the most.
So the whole known world of that time had gathered for this decisive battle and all were ready for the signal to be given. But they were waiting because Krishna was still persuading Arjuna. Arjuna wanted to leave; he said, “I want to renounce war because I don’t see any point in it. All these people are my people: on this side are my people; on that side are my people. I see my friends on that side whom I will have to kill and I see my friends on this side. These people, these hundred Kauravas are my brothers, and I have to kill these people just for the kingdom? Millions of people will be killed in the war, and even if we win, who will be left to rejoice in the victory?”
And he was absolutely right: “Who will there be to rejoice in the victory over the corpses of millions of relatives and friends? These are the people for whom we would have fought, for whom we would have won the victory so that they could rejoice with us, celebrate with us – but all these people will be dead. There is no certainty we will win; there is no certainty that the other party will win, because both are equally balanced. But one thing is certain: whosoever wins, almost everybody will be dead.” And that’s what happened.
Finally Krishna argued: “You are a coward, you are an impotent man escaping from the warfield; you are a warrior, and the religion of the warrior is to fight. Are you afraid of killing, of murdering? These people are going to die anyway.” Just see the argument, what he is saying: “These people are going to die anyway, any day.” Nobody is immortal, so if you murder these people you are not doing anything that you have to be worried about. Perhaps you have taken a few years off this man’s life, but in that too you are wrong to think that you are doing it. The doer is God, and whatsoever happens, happens through his will; we are only his instruments.
That’s what I was telling you: that these religions have been reducing humanity to puppets. Krishna’s whole Gita can be condensed into a single sentence: “Man is a puppet; the puppeteer is God.” So whatever the puppeteer wants, you do. If he makes you dance, you dance; if he makes you jog, you jog – whatsoever he makes you do, leave everything to God. Simply act and don’t think of the consequences or the results. That’s the whole message of the Gita, on which the whole of Hinduism stands: go on surrendering everything to God, and don’t bother about the result – the result is in his hands.
Now this is a very tricky argument. If I had been in Arjuna’s place I would have slapped Krishna then and there, told him to get down from the chariot and said, “I am going – because this is the will of God. Who am I to think? Now my whole being is saying to renounce this war – I am going. This is God’s voice. Who are you? And I am not going to think about the consequences: that people will think me a coward. Let them think it – that is their business.”
In fact the argument that Krishna gave to Arjuna was so bogus that if Arjuna had a little insight into argumentation he could have turned the whole thing round. Krishna was saying, “Only do, and don’t think of the result.”
Arjuna should have said, “Great! So I will only do this, and I will not bother about the result” – and he should have turned his chariot toward the jungle. But he was befooled, perhaps by the situation or the pressure. He had collected all these people, he had invited all these people, and now at the last moment to escape… “What will the world say? And Krishna is God’s incarnation – that’s what people say – and if he is saying, ‘Fight and leave the consequences in God’s hands,’ then I should fight.” So he fought and they won. But whatsoever he was afraid of did happen. The whole country has never been again alive in the same way as it was before. It lost its backbone; it lost its manliness.
I cannot say that Krishna is the image of God. He is far closer to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, or Mao Zedong than to God. This is what Adolf Hitler was doing, what poor Adolf Hitler was doing – why should he be condemned? He was doing God’s will and not bothering about the consequences. It was the same thing with Krishna: forcing Arjuna to do something that he wanted, argued for it – and destroyed the country for at least five thousand years. It is still not free of the shadow of the Mahabharata; that Great War still falls like a shadow on India.
And the last person the questioner asks about is Gautam Buddha. He must have thought that at least I will agree about Gautam Buddha – but he is wrong. In the first place Gautam Buddha does not believe in God, that God exists, so he will not agree that he is an image of God. He himself would disagree with this statement, that he is an image of God. He does not believe in God. He himself cannot say he is an image of God, and he has never said that.
The very idea of “the image of God” is inapplicable to Gautam Buddha – Krishna was born as an incarnation of God, Jesus was born as the only son of God, Mohammed was born as the only messenger of God, but this is not the case with Buddha. He was born a human being, and he went in search of truth. If he were made in the image of God he would have known the truth already, but he had to go in search, a long search.
Buddha took immense pains in every possible way to find out the truth. He did everything he was told. He went to all the teachers that were well known in the country until each teacher said, “Now I cannot teach you any more, because whatsoever I know I have taught you. Move on, go somewhere else; you know more than I know now.” But this knowledge was not satisfying. He did everything, and that was his basic mistake: all the teachers got fed up with him.
Teachers never get fed up with a person who goes on committing mistakes. Then the teacher is always happy: “You committed this mistake, that’s why you are missing; you committed that mistake, that’s why you are missing.” But this man was so particular that he was overdoing what the teacher was saying. No teacher – and he was with dozens of teachers – could say to him that he had failed because he had not done something, or he had missed something. No, every teacher understood that he had done everything – and nothing had happened.
He was standing there saying, “You said all these things were to be done; I think they have been done to completion. If not, tell me where the mistake is, and I am going to correct it. But nothing was happening. The teachers soon realized that they could not cheat and exploit this man; he was ready to go to any lengths.
But a point comes where the teacher becomes afraid because he himself does not know. He is just a scholar, a great scholar maybe; he can teach you all the methods but he himself has never done them. He knows no truth; he has not realized himself, so this man becomes a question mark to him, because he is doing exactly what is being told and yet nothing is happening.
Finally the last teacher he was with told him, “Don’t waste your time with teachers. I am the greatest of all those teachers; many of them have been my students. Seeing in your eyes your sincerity, your authenticity, I would like to say to you that you have to go on your own. Nobody can take you there, nobody can lead you there; you have to go there on your own. So forget about teachers, forget about teachings and just move on your own. You have done enough of all these disciplines, Yogas, mantras, tantras, all that is available.” And India is a great bazaar, buzzing with all kinds of things that you can do; it can drive you on for many lives. And those methods will not end; they are always there, and new ones too.
Buddha understood it because he had wasted twelve years and he was nowhere. But really, he had achieved something without being aware of it: he was finished with following. And that is a great achievement. To become religious; that is one of the greatest achievements: to be finished with following.
He went alone. He himself had gathered, in those years, five followers. He also told them, “Forgive me, all those teachers wasted my time and I don’t want to waste your time – go on your own. Leave me alone and I will leave you alone. I am not your leader, and you are not my followers. From now onward I am alone. I will risk everything, and if there is any truth, I will find it; if there is none, I will find that.”
This man had never claimed that he was a born God, deity, messenger, prophet or anybody’s incarnation, no. And what he found was not God. He found absolute silence: no word, no idea, no image. He found tremendous contentment, but no God, nobody there even to thank. The whole universe was there, and he was grateful to the whole universe, but it was not separate so there was no question of saying thank you to it; he was part of it.
Buddha made no claim to be God or his image. That’s why I have loved him the most, because he is the most human of all these people. Of course Buddhists corrupted all his teachings, made statues of him, started worshipping him and made a God out of him. But for that he cannot be held responsible.
You have not asked me a question you have made a statement. But I have still answered you, for the simple reason that anybody living close to me and carrying such statements in the mind will miss me, is bound to miss me.
You have to drop your answers. I am enough to wrestle with your questions; with your answers, you are the least able to wrestle.
Drop them and I will kill your questions.
The day there is no question and no answer within you, and you are just sitting here empty, you have come home – from ignorance to innocence.

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