Chapter 12: The Dewdrop and the Ocean
Don’t you attach any value to philosophy? In order to know the truth is it not necessary to know about the truth?
The truth cannot be known before you actually know it. And to know about truth is not knowing truth. All that knowing is false. It is false because in the absence of one’s own experience it simply cannot be understood. It is false, not necessarily from the side of the speaker, but from that of the listener.
If I say anything about truth, will you understand it in exactly the same way as I am saying it? It isn’t possible, because to understand something in exactly the same way you would have to be the same as me and in the same place as I am. By the time what I say reaches to you it becomes untrue. This is how it always happens. I only give you the words, their interpretation will come from within you. The meaning will be born from within you and it cannot be anything other than from you. The words will be mine; their meaning will be yours.
That meaning cannot be anything more than you, it cannot be beyond your experience. Do you think you are reading Krishna when you read the Gita? If you do, you are greatly mistaken, my friend! You are only reading yourself in the Gita - otherwise how could there have been so many interpretations of it, so many commentaries on it? In every scripture, you manage to see your own image and every religion is nothing more than a mirror to you.
Before knowing truth only words can be known, not the truth. Those words will be from others, from the holy books, from the avataras and tirthankaras, from the enlightened ones, but the meanings and interpretations will be yours. It is you who will be in them. Isn’t this the reason that there is so much antagonism, that there are so many differences between the so-called religions? Is there any opposition or antagonism possible between Buddha and Christ? The difference of interpretation, the opposition, the antagonism is ours, and we just continue it in their names.
Religion comes from those who know the truth, and sects are formed and organized by those who only hear it, who only believe in it. And so there are numerous sects - although there is only one religion. The reason is that the experience of knowing the truth is an identical experience for all, but the belief in truth cannot be identical. Knowing is one, but beliefs are as many as there are persons who believe.
Religion is born out of seeing the truth, realizing the truth, but religions are born out of not seeing the truth. The wheel of religion is moved by those who know, but organizing religions is the act of those who do not know - and it is through their good efforts that religion becomes irreligion. Throughout his whole history man has been a victim of this calamity.