Chapter 5: This Earth Is More than a Paradise
America itself has thirty million people who cannot afford enough food. It is not a question of giving to somebody else, it is a question of giving to its own people. But the problem becomes complicated, because if you start giving free food to thirty million people, then others will start asking, “Why should we pay for our food?” Then the prices of things will go down. With the prices going down, the farmers will not be interested anymore in producing - what is the point? Afraid of disturbing the economy, they let thirty million people die on the streets and go on drowning the superfluous foodstuff in the ocean.
Not only that, exactly thirty million people are dying in American hospitals, nursing homes, from diseases caused by overeating. They cannot be allowed in the home, because in the home it is very difficult to protect the fridge from those people! They are dying because they eat too much, and on the street there are people dying because they have nothing to eat. An exact number: thirty million dying of overeating, and thirty million dying with not enough food. Sixty million people can be immediately saved with a small understanding.
But a bird’s eye view is needed to look at the world, all over, as one unit. Our problems have brought us to a situation where either we will have to commit suicide or we will have to transform man, his old traditions, his conditionings. Those conditionings and those educational systems, those religions that man has followed up to now, have contributed to this crisis. This global suicide is the ultimate outcome of all our cultures, all our philosophies, all our religions. They all have contributed to it - in strange ways, because nobody ever thought of the whole; everybody was looking at a small piece, not bothering about the whole.
For example in India, Jainas only do business. They don’t cultivate, but they need food. They can’t cultivate because Mahavira, their teacher, has told them that if you cultivate you will have to cut plants and plants have life, and nonviolence is his teaching. So they cannot be warriors, they cannot be cultivators, and of course, nobody wants to become sweepers, to become cleaners - because in India, these people are condemned as almost inhuman.
So the only alternative left for Jainas was just to do business, sell things, accumulate money. All their violence became their greed. That is the reason why they are the only people in India who don’t have beggars; they are the richest people in India. But this is a kind of sucking the blood of the society. Everything else is being done by somebody else, and the money somehow goes on moving into hands which don’t do anything.
Mahavira simply thought about his philosophy, but he never thought that this philosophy could not become universal. And that which cannot become universal cannot be true. People will have to cultivate, and certainly plants will have to be cut, crops will have to be cut. This violence cannot be avoided just by not doing it yourself; somebody else is doing it for you.
The situation is the same around the world. Everybody has taken a certain portion of life, ignoring the remaining parts which are essentially joined with it. There are people.for example, the man who created the Nobel Prize committee was the greatest arms producer in the first world war. He earned so much money out of the production of war materials that he created a Nobel Prize for peace.