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Chapter 3: The Sword and the Lotus

The Buddhist monk moved on from the well, and he was followed by a Christian missionary. The Christian missionary was carrying a bucket and a long rope. He immediately threw the rope and the bucket into the well, and pulled the man out.

The man said, “You are the only religious man.”

The Christian missionary said, “In fact, I should be grateful to you, because unless you fall in the well I cannot earn virtue. I am against the Confucian idea that every well should have a wall. Then nobody will be falling in! - and for whom am I carrying the bucket and the rope? No walls are needed; otherwise, all virtue, all morality, all service will disappear from the world.”

Bertrand Russell has made a very important statement: “If there is no poverty, there will be no religion. Whom are you going to serve?”

If there is no death, all churches, all religions will become absolutely useless, invalid, out of date. They are surviving because of poverty, because of death, because of disease, because of orphans. That’s why they are all against birth control - because birth control can destroy all poverty, and all the orphans can be stopped from coming into the world.

What will happen to poor Mother Teresa? Who will give her a Nobel Prize?

Orphans are absolutely needed, otherwise Mother Teresas will disappear. Poverty is needed, that’s why they go on continuously being against all birth control methods. It has nothing to do with God - they need the poor people, because their religion teaches them that if you serve the poor, if you open hospitals for the poor, if you open schools for the poor, you are earning a great bank balance in paradise.

This is not unselfishness. Who says it is unselfish? It is more selfish than anything else you can find in the world - a motivation to exploit poor people, people who have fallen into the well, people who are dying, people who are sick, people who are orphans. You are taking great advantage.

All religions say that you will have great pleasures in heaven; beautiful women will be available to all the saints who have done virtuous acts. Strange.. Here you talk about celibacy, and in all the paradises of all the religions, celibacy is no longer applicable. Do you see the contradiction?

If a man has been celibate here for sixty, seventy years, he will become habitually a celibate. Then he goes into heaven and finds beautiful girls.. They remain always at the age sixteen; through eternity, they have never grown up. They don’t perspire, they don’t need any deodorant; their breath does not smell, they don’t need any mouthwash. It seems they are made of plastic. No perspiration? - do you know the meaning of it?

If you paint your whole body, leaving only your nose to breathe, paint it thickly so that all the pores in your skin are completely closed, you will die within three hours. Just your nose is not enough. Every pore in your skin is breathing, in and out. Your whole body is a breathing system.

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