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Chapter 25: Jesus: The Only Savior who Nearly Saved Himself

So when I hear that your faith in Jesus will disappear if you know that he never walked on water, that he never turned water into wine, I cannot conceive of it, because in the twentieth century, the secrets of how to do all these magic tricks are available, even in books. And you can do them, you just have to learn a little strategy.

One sannyasin was with me; he lived with me in Mumbai, and he was interested in magic. So I told him, “Have a press conference and give a show of your magic, but call them miracles, not magic.” And he did it. Even Vivek was one of the participants in his magic - miracles, not magic.

The miracle was that Vivek has to swallow a thread, a long thread which she goes on swallowing. And then he takes back that thread from her navel; he goes on pulling it and it all comes out. And the whole trick was just a small operation. A few days before, he just made a little cut near the navel and pushed a thread inside; and this was the thread that was coming out. The thread that she had swallowed was a different thread - but to the press it was a miracle. “The woman has taken the thread inside and he takes it out from her navel! - and it comes out, the same length and everything.” But just a small trick.

He did many things there, and you know, just because he was my disciple many papers described how I had done these miracles. He drank some poison, enough to kill a man. But everything was a trick. He was just practicing there, in my own house and on my own people, and they all were saying, “What is happening?”

Vivek was saying, “This is cheating. I thought it was going to be a real miracle. It is nothing like a miracle, it is just a cheat.”

I said, “Everybody has been a cheat; there has never been a miracle.”

So I told my father, “I was interested only in the magic, because in the fair all kinds of magicians gather together, and I have seen some really great things. My interest is that I want to reduce miracles into magic. Magic is only about tricks - there is nothing spiritual in it - but if you don’t know the trick, then certainly it appears to be a miracle.”

I have been punished, but I have enjoyed every mischief so much that I don’t count those punishments at all. They are nothing.

I have a certain rapport with women, perhaps that’s why mischief - if it was Mister Chief or Master Chief, perhaps I would have avoided it, but Miss Chief! - the temptation was so much that I could not avoid it. In spite of all the punishment I continued it. And I still continue it!