Chapter 7: Have Mercy and Not Sacrifice
“I am not come to call the righteous..” In the first place, they never listen to the call. The righteous are dead people; they are deaf, they are too full of their own noise. They are so certain about their virtues. They don’t have any earth to stand on, but in their beliefs, in their imagination, they think that they are standing on a well-founded ground. They have no foundation - their edifice is just as if a child has made a house of playing cards: a little breeze and the house will be gone. But they believe in it. The house exists only in their imagination.
In the first place, they will not listen to the call. In the second place, if you insist too much they will get angry. In the third place, if you are stubborn, as Jesus was, they will kill you. And in the fourth place, when you are dead they will worship you. This is how things go.
“For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” In fact, to realize that you are a sinner is already a transformation. The moment you recognize that you are a sinner, you have repented. There is no other repentance.
Look at it in this way. In the night you are fast asleep and dreaming. If you realize that you are dreaming, what does it mean? It means that now you are no longer asleep. Once you become aware that you are dreaming, you are awake. Once you become aware that you are asleep, you are no longer asleep - finished. The sleep has already left you.
To remain a sinner one needs to continuously think to himself that he is not a sinner, he is a virtuous man. To hide the sin, one needs the confidence that one is righteous, not a sinner. Sometimes the people who call themselves righteous think that even if they sin sometimes it is just to protect their virtue, to protect their righteousness.
India and Pakistan were at war and everybody was in a war mood. Even Jaina saints were in a war mood. At least they shouldn’t have been - they have been preaching nonviolence for centuries. But I came across the news that Acharya Tulsi, one of the greatest Jaina munis, had given his blessings to the war. What did he say?
He said it was “to protect the country of nonviolence. Even if violence has to be done, it has to be done - to protect the country of Buddha, Mahavira, Gandhi.”
Do you see the trick? Nonviolence has to be protected by violence. One has to go to war so that peace reigns. I have to kill you because I love you; I am doing it for your sake.
A man who thinks he is a sinner has already surrendered. He realizes the fact that “I am a sinner and I have done nothing else except sin and sin. It is not that sometimes I have committed a sin. Rather, on the contrary, I am a sinner. It is not a question of actions; it is a continuity of unconsciousness. I am a sinner and whether I have done something wrong or not is irrelevant. Sometimes I don’t do anything wrong, but still I am a sinner.”