Chapter 7: Have Mercy and Not Sacrifice
To recognize a Jesus is a great achievement because that means you have a certain consciousness which can relate to Jesus. You have a certain quality which can relate to Jesus: you are already on the way to becoming a Jesus yourself. You can only recognize that which you already have within you - opening, flowering. It may be just a bud, but you can recognize a little bit, your eyes are not completely closed.
There are priests who are pretenders. To them, religion is a trade. It is a livelihood, not their life. To Jesus, religion is life; to the rabbis, to the priests, it is a livelihood. Then there are scholars who go on talking about nothing - and they can talk so much, they are so articulate, that you will never be able to recognize the fact that, deep within, they are empty.
I have heard about one international competition. A competition was arranged, essays were invited, from many countries. The subject of the competition was “The Elephant.” The Englishman immediately went to South Africa with cameras and a group of followers, and he investigated the whole thing. He came back after six months and wrote a book - well-printed, illustrated. The title of the book was Hunting the Elephant in South Africa.
The Frenchman never went anywhere. Every day he simply went to visit the elephant house in the zoo in Paris. After two, three weeks he started to write a book - a very carelessly printed book, not even hard-cover, just a paperback. The title of the book was The Love Life of the Elephant.
The Indian, who had been appointed by the Indian Government, was a man who had never seen an elephant because he had always remained in the Himalayas. He was a great yogi and poet and Sanskrit scholar. He never even went to the zoo. He wrote a big book, a great treatise. The title was The Divine Elephant. It was written in the form of poetry and he quoted great Sanskrit books, from the Vedas up to Shree Aurobindo. Anybody who read the book had the impression that this man had never seen an elephant. He was a poet, he may have seen one in his dreams. He talked about the elephant which was seen by Buddha’s mother before he was conceived.mythology, a white elephant.
And last of all, the Germans. They appointed six professors of philosophy to write the book. They went to all the museums and libraries, all over the world to study everything that is written about the elephant. They never went to see any elephant or any zoo - just museums and libraries. They searched all over, they took almost six years, and they wrote a book - twelve volumes, almost an Encyclopaedia Britannica. The title of the book was A Short Introduction to the Study of the Elephant. Professors of philosophy - what do they have to do with elephants? And that too, a short introduction - a prolegomenon. It was not even about the elephant! It was just an introduction to the study of the elephant.