Chapter 4: Religiousness Is beyond the Realms of Time
No, Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira and Krishna cannot be imprisoned in a moment. We do try to imprison them so, because we are attached to our limitations, to our fragments. The day people in the West grow in understanding, they will forget all about the time of Christ’s birth and death. In this matter the understanding of the people of the East is much deeper. And it has given rise to a lot of misunderstanding in the West in regard to us. The way we look at things, the way we think and say things is such that the world cannot understand. When someone from the West wants to know about the lives of the tirthankaras he is astounded to hear that some of them lived for millions of years. How can he accept it? It seems to be impossible. How can he believe that some of the tirthankaras were as high as the skies? It cannot be so.
It is not a matter of believing, it is a matter of understanding. If a well-frog wants to be bold enough to describe the measurement of an ocean, what will it say? It will say it is equal to hundreds of millions of wells combined. The well has to be its yardstick and there has to be a figure. So we represent the age of the eternal with a figure of a thousand million years. And to describe the magnitude of the infinite we say that while its feet are firmly rooted in the earth its head reaches the sky - even the sky is not the limit.
That is why those who knew decided to drop all measurements and did not write the history of religion.
Krishna is immeasurable, eternal. And he is inexpressible, beyond words.
Questioner: If a record of Christ’s life could be maintained, we know he was born nineteen hundred and seventy years ago. How is it that a similar record of Krishna is not available?
It was possible to keep such a record and it depended on the people who lived with Krishna. The people living with Jesus kept a record of his life, Jesus himself did not do it. If you look at a saying of Jesus’ you will understand what I mean.
When someone asked Jesus if Abraham happened before him, he said, “No, before Abraham was, I am.” What does it mean? By saying it, Jesus denied time altogether. Abraham had happened thousands of years before Jesus, but Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I am.” The people who lived with Jesus had a concept of time, were time-oriented. They had not seen an ocean, they had only seen wells. So they thought Jesus was saying something mysterious, they failed to understand that Jesus denied time itself.
Someone asks Jesus, “What will be the special thing in your kingdom of God?” Jesus says, “There shall be time no longer.” But again his disciples failed to understand him. Neither Jesus nor Krishna kept a record of their lives, it is the people around them who did it. Jesus did not have disciples like those who lived with Krishna. In this respect too, Krishna was remarkably fortunate. The disciples of Jesus were much too ordinary; they could not understand Jesus. That is why Jesus was crucified: he became so inscrutable, so incomprehensible. We did not crucify Krishna or Buddha or Mahavira not because these people were less dangerous than Jesus. The only reason we did not kill them is that India has traveled a long way, in the course of which she has had to put up with any number of such dangerous people.