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Chapter 7: God Is the Business of the Priest

After lunch he said to the court, “Before lunch I gave all the arguments that the opposite party can give. Now I am going to criticize the opposite party, argument by argument, because I am standing here for the maharaja of Jaipur.” And he criticized his own arguments so cleverly.

When he told me this. I often used to go to visit him. He loved me very much. He always told me, “You should join the law department, not philosophy.”

I said, “That is not my field.”

But he loved my arguments. He said, “It is a loss to the world of law and constitution. You have such arguments that you would become a world-famous legal expert.”

I said, “I am going to become a world-notorious illegal expert. Don’t be worried about me.”

But he loved me, so he told me about this incident, and that it is not a question of truth at all, it is only a question of who is a better arguer.

On the one hand the government and all the religions and all the preachers go on saying, “You should tell the truth” but society does not reward the truth.

Just today I have received a threatening letter from a law firm in Madras saying that I have offended the religious feelings of their clients. I have told my legal secretary, Anando, to write to them that in the first place there are no religious feelings. A religion is beyond feelings and beyond thoughts and beyond mind. There are only religious superstitions. A man of religion cannot be hurt. He knows the truth. It is the lies that you are living in that are hurt. Truth always hurts lies. So you should tell your clients to be really religious: “Go beyond the mind, go beyond feelings, sentiments, emotions, thoughts and you will not be hurt. But if you want to come to the court, you can.”

My whole life I have been fighting in courts on the same point: that people’s religious feelings are hurt, and I have been telling the judges, “If I am telling the truth and somebody’s feelings are hurt, do you think I should be punished for it? That man needs psychological treatment. If his religious feelings are so weak, that shows that they are only beliefs. He does not know what religion is. And if truth hurts people, what do you suggest? Should I start lying?” And the judges will look all around - what to do? They cannot say, “You should start lying.” They are in a quandary.

In the first court case they gave me the choice of either the Bible, the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita. I should take the book of whichever religion I belonged to - all the books were on the table - and take the oath that I will only speak the truth and nothing else.

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