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Chapter 9: Freedom from the Past

I was taking a meditation camp in Gujarat. It was a beautiful, small place, Tulsi Shyam. Tulsi was one such wife who Krishna had abducted. In the temple is Krishna’s statue with this abducted wife Tulsi. It should be in a prison, but unfortunately it is in the temple. The temple is in the valley and in the temple is this beautiful statue of Tulsi and Krishna. Above the valley, hidden at a distance in a cluster of bushes, is another small temple in which there is Rukmini’s statue. The poor helpless woman is sitting there watching from her hideout what games her husband is playing.

You will have to change many of your values. It will be painful because there has been a great attachment to those values. You have never looked at their dark sides. No one has ever criticized them in front of you. We have forgotten to take a critical view. We just subscribe to blind faith, blind worship, blind belief. If you want to enter the twenty-first century, you will have to drop this blindness. Machines cannot take you there. Eyes, clear eyes, are needed so that they can see into the far distance.

And the eyes of a believer are such that they cannot even see what is nearby, what to say of seeing into the far distance?

You will have to learn to doubt, because it is the sword of doubt that will destroy your blind beliefs and superstitions and provide you with the opportunity for reflection, contemplation and meditation.

The science of the West has only been born over the past three hundred years. And it has been born fighting for every inch of its ground with Christianity, because Christianity has posed obstacles over even the smallest matters. The Bible says that the earth is flat; the findings of science say it is round. The Bible says that the sun goes around the earth, and science has found that the reality is just the opposite. It is the earth that goes around the sun.

When for the first time Galileo wrote in his book that the earth goes around the sun, this old man, who was almost on his deathbed, was dragged to the pope’s court. And the pope told him, “Make amendments in your book otherwise you will be burned alive.”

Galileo said, “I have no objection. I will change it in my book. I am not keen to be burned alive - after death one is burned anyway, but what is the hurry to be burned? As far as the book is concerned, I will make the changes. But I must say one thing: that making changes in my book will make no difference. The earth will still go on revolving around the sun. No matter how much I write something in my book, neither the sun nor the earth will read my book. And why are you so troubled? If a small line goes against the Bible, why does it disturb you so much?”

And what the pope said is worth keeping in mind. The pope said, “The disturbance is that if even one word of the Bible is proved wrong, doubts will start arising in people’s minds that, who knows, if one thing has been found to be wrong, who knows what other things may also be wrong? Up until now they have been believing the Bible to be the word of God. But if God can also make mistakes, then how can the pope claim to be infallible? We will not tolerate anything that goes against what is written in the Bible.”

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