Chapter 25: The Territory of Silence
America is only three hundred years old. In the life of a nation, three hundred years are nothing; hence America is the greatest danger to the world - nuclear weapons in the hands of children. Russia will behave more rationally: it is an old and ancient land and has all the experiences of a long history. In America there is no history. Everybody knows his father’s name, forefather’s name and that’s all. There your family tree ends.
In India.it is very different. One of the scholars of this very city, Lokmanya Tilak, proved.and his proof has not yet been disproved by any argument by other scholars. Now, almost the whole century has passed, but his evidence is such that it cannot be disproved.
The Western scholars used to argue that Rig Veda, the most ancient book in the world, is five thousand years old. There was a difficulty because according to Christianity, God created the world four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ - so now it is only six thousand years old. Now they have to put everything, fit everything into six thousand years. Beyond that they cannot go. Going beyond means going against Christianity, against the Bible, against Jesus Christ - and it is too risky.
Lokmanya Tilak proved with intrinsic logic that in Rig Veda there is a description of a certain constellation of stars, which astronomers are absolutely certain happened ninety thousand years ago. And there is no way to describe it unless these people had been the observers of that constellation, and it has not happened since then.
Lokmanya Tilak proved that Rig Veda may not be older than ninety thousand years old, but it is certainly ninety thousand years old. And one thing brings in another thing. In Rig Veda, the founder of Jainism, Adinatha, is mentioned with great respect. That means that if Hinduism is ninety thousand years old, Jainism must be even older, because nobody talks with such respect about contemporaries - particularly contemporaries who are not willing to agree with you.
Adinatha did not agree on any point with Hinduism; that makes it certain that he was not a contemporary. Perhaps by the time the Rig Veda was written, he had been dead for a thousand years. People have a certain tendency to be respectful about the dead, and the longer they are dead, the more respectful they become. So I am giving you a recipe: if you want to become respectable, be dead, and everybody will be respectful to you.
Have you watched that when somebody dies, nobody speaks anything against him? It is simply etiquette and manners.
In one small town a man died. The tradition there was that before a man is lowered down into his grave somebody should say some good things about him. Everybody looked at each other, but because he was such a rascal they could not find single word. He had tortured almost everybody in the town. He was such a harassment that everybody was deep down very happy that finally he had died: “Now we can relax a little.”
So nobody was ready to say something good about the man, because everybody knew that people would laugh if they said something good.