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Chapter 16: The Only Miracle

Lin Chi said, “Among us you will find no such miracles. We know only one miracle, and that is that we are content. Yes, this is our single miracle - contentment! The only miracle we can offer is that whoever joins us also becomes contented.”

It is very unlikely that the man understood. How could contentment be regarded as a miracle? But I also tell you, contentment is the only miracle. And the East is discontented - with whatever wealth it has, with whatever position and prestige it has, the East is discontented. India has also tested its atom bomb - and the whole Indian mind is so joyous, so happy, as if this is some great achievement! You don’t stop to consider the fact that even if you have nuclear energy, you will still remain a third-rate power in the world. You will still be only number six, you can never be the first among the nuclear powers; you will always be at the back of the line, a hanger-on. What is there to be so pleased about?

But in the field where you can rank first, you are losing your standing. The field where no one in the world can compete with you, the place where India’s tradition of thousands of years of work has put you - you are losing your ground there. You are standing in a queue in sixth place, and you think it is something great! Do you think India can ever surpass America or Japan in material wealth? There you will always remain a beggar. Even the atomic explosion you have carried out is borrowed, and based on foreign aid. Tomorrow, if the foreign aid ceases, your nuclear program will come to a standstill. And it is utterly idiotic - it is like a poor man selling his house to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, who sets off a few fireworks and is very pleased. The children in his house are dying of hunger, and outside the house he has arranged a show of fireworks. These atomic explosions are mere fireworks, but that is where our interests lie today.

We are eager for money, power, prestige, and when Westerners come to the East in search of religion, we laugh at them thinking they have gone mad. “What is wrong with them?” we want to know. In the West there is a different kind of worry: people arrive from the East to become engineers, doctors, nuclear physicists, and the Westerners wonder: “So, their search is also for the materialistic!” And they feel disappointed: “What can we get from these people who are running to get help from us - people who have no food and shelter, whose minds are set only on material desires?”

This is the crisis - that the East is losing what it has gathered over so many centuries, and the West is anxious to find that about which it has come to know only in the past few centuries. So what is the crisis in it? The crisis is that what the East already has will be lost and the West will have to start from abc. This is a serious crisis, because it takes millions of years for religion to come to maturity.

Religion is no ordinary seed.

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