Chapter 19: Meditation: The Science of Awareness
For example, in Tibet you can’t have the same kind of heaven as in India, obviously. India is a hot country, so hot that the heaven has to be air-conditioned. Of course the word was not available at the time, but the description is absolutely of air-conditioning. It says, “Twenty-four hours cool air, fresh, fragrant.spring. It is never summer, it is never the rainy season. It is never cold winter; just a cool - not cold, but a cool atmosphere all the year round. And it is always spring.” But the Tibetan priest cannot accept it. They are so tortured by cold, their heaven is warm, heated - it is never cold. They don’t even mention cool, because to the people of Tibet even cool is not acceptable. It has to be warm.
In Tibetan scriptures it says, “You must take at least one bath per year.” When the Dalai Lama and his people started escaping from Tibet to India, many of them came to see me. Habits die hard: they were not taking baths or showers, even in India, and they were using the same kind of clothes that they were using in Tibet. I had to tell them, “I am very allergic to smells, so you sit in the other corner of the room, unless you learn how to clean your body and change your clothes every day.” They said, “Every day! But the religious scriptures say once a year is enough!”
It is going to be a different fiction in different countries. In Mohammedan countries, homosexuality was very prevalent - is still prevalent. Strange, but it shows a significant fact about the human mind. The greatest punishment also is for a homosexual act if you are found out. You just have to be beheaded; there is no lesser punishment for it. Still it is the most prevalent thing, so prevalent that in the Koran the provision is made in heaven for the great religious sages: beautiful women are available, beautiful boys are also available. These are all fictions suiting the particular mind, climate, country, having no foundation in reality.
Reality has not to be invented, it has to be discovered. It is already there. Hence science discovers, and true religion also discovers.
But up to now, the religions that have been in existence in the world - Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism - they never felt any conflict with art, but they all felt tremendous antagonism toward science. Nobody has noted the fact. Why are they not against art, and why are they against science? - because with art they can find some similarity. They can use art but they cannot use science, and they don’t find the basic similarity. In fact they find science is doing just the opposite. They are inventing, they are creating something imaginary; science’s whole work is to uncover the true, the real, that which is.
Now, if science goes on succeeding, then the pseudo-religion becomes afraid, because the fiction will not be able to stand in front of truth. There will be no possibility of its winning - even standing before truth is impossible.
I have loved this story very much. One day darkness approached God and said, “I have never done any wrong to the sun, but it goes on torturing me. Wherever I go, it reaches, and I have to escape from there. I cannot even rest. I don’t want to complain, but enough is enough. How long is it going to be? And I am absolutely innocent. I have not done anything against the sun, I have not said anything against the sun. This is for the first time I am talking about it.”
God immediately ordered that the sun should be called. The sun was called, and God asked him, “Why are you torturing and bothering darkness?”