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Chapter 1: Escape to Reality

In fact it is very strange that Buddha should have loved to eat only once a day. There is only one reason: he was born into a meat-eating family; he was born into the warrior race, the son of a king. Now, meat-eating animals eat only once a day - the lion eats only once a day, in twenty-four hours - because meat is enough, once a day is enough; it has no roughage in it. If you eat vegetables once a day you will starve, because ninety percent is roughage. The meat can be absorbed totally; it is already digested by another animal. It is digested food, it is pure food. But when you are eating vegetables you have to eat many times. You can watch it: monkeys are vegetarians - they eat the whole day. Lions eat only once a day.

Buddha was born into a meat-eating family, purely non-vegetarian; this became his habit. Of course, when he became enlightened he dropped eating meat, but the old habit of thirty years continued. Habits don’t change so easily! But now fools are following him and they are eating once a day, and they are non-vegetarians or vegetarians - nobody takes any note about it. If they are vegetarians they should not do it, it is dangerous to health, it is dangerous to their energy. The same is true about every discipline - the Ten Commandments, or other religious principles.

Just the other day one sannyasin wrote to me that he cannot sleep early in the night, he can only fall asleep at three o’clock in the morning. Of course he feels very guilty! A religious person should go early to bed and should get up in brahmamuhurt - before the sun rises. He is feeling very guilty. Now, there is no need to feel any guilt. This is perfectly okay; he is sleeping perfectly well. He sleeps seven hours, from three in the morning to ten; he is having enough sleep. Now this is his body clock; it is his body chemistry that has to be considered, not somebody else’s principle about it.

All the religious scriptures were written by old people, and old people find if difficult to sleep in the morning. A child in the mother’s womb sleeps twenty-four hours; then out of the womb slowly slowly the sleep is reduced - twenty-two hours, twenty hours, eighteen hours, sixteen hours.. By the time he is young, it is fixed somewhere between eight hours and six hours. As one becomes older, sleep becomes less. When one is seventy, eighty, then two or three hours sleep is enough - and the scriptures were written by old people, because this was the idea - that the older you are, the wiser you are.

No young man has written any religious scripture; nobody would have taken any note of a young man writing a religious scripture. You have to be very ancient and old, then you can write a scripture! Age was of tremendous importance in the past. Of course these people have written that three hours’ sleep is enough; more than that is lethargy, tamas - it is not good, it is evil. This idea is good for old people.

Now this young sannyasin is unnecessarily worried. He has tried every way; his whole life he has been struggling. It is useless - the whole struggle is useless! In fact, now it is a well-known scientific fact that everybody has his own body clock and everybody has to follow his own body’s needs.

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