Chapter 4: Danger: Truth at Work
Jesus claims that he is the only begotten son of God. Can you put it aside and tell Jesus, “Go to Oregon”? It will be difficult. Rather than doing that, you would prefer me to leave Oregon. That’s what your politicians are trying to do; they are telling me, “Leave Oregon.” That seems to be simpler, because with me they have no ties. I have not sold them any sweet dreams. I have not promised them anything, nor am I promising them now.
My whole work is to demolish: to demolish all the lies that are surrounding you and not to replace them by anything else, but to leave you utterly naked in your aloneness. To me, only in your aloneness will you be able to know the truth - because you are the truth.
You have not to go anywhere to find truth. Neither Jesus can give it to you, nor Krishna can give it to you, nor Buddha can give it to you, nor I can give it to you. It is not a commodity that somebody can just give to you. Just think: if truth is a commodity, a thing which can be given to you, then it can be stolen, it can be taken back, it can be lost - anything can happen to it.
But nothing happens to truth. It happens to you, but nothing happens to it. It cannot be stolen; it cannot be purchased.
There is a story in Mahavira’s life. One of the very famous kings, Bimbisara, had conquered the whole of India and the neighboring countries. He had made a vast empire. He was a man who, once he wanted something, would have it. He had never come across anything that he wanted and could not find a way to get. He had heard many times about Mahavira, who was just resting for the rainy season outside the city, his capital.
He inquired, “What has this man got? - because I see thousands of people going to him.”
Somebody said, “He has got the truth.”
Bimbisara said, “Then there is no problem. How much is he asking for it? I am ready to pay. There is no question of bargaining, simply inquire how much he wants for it.”
The man could not say to the king, “You are talking like a fool.” He said, “It is better, your majesty, that you go to him and you negotiate. I am a poor man; don’t put me in this situation. You are a great king; he is a great tirthankara, a great soul which rarely happens. Only twenty-four persons reach that height in one cycle of existence.”
He is saying that in millions and millions of years, only twenty-four.and he is the last for this cycle. Now there is not going to be another man of his caliber again in this cycle of existence. When this whole existence burns out - when all these stars and galaxies and solar systems have gone, disappeared, and a new creation starts from scratch - then the first tirthankara will appear. “Now this man is very rare because for millions of years there is not going to be another comparable to him. So it is better you go.”