Chapter 28: The Art of Listening Is Enough
The very idea that “I know and you don’t know” is inhuman. It is uncultured, it is uncivilized. It may be that I have experienced something that I can share with you, but I cannot denounce you as ignorant. I can only say, “Perhaps you have missed it, perhaps you have bypassed it. Perhaps you are innocent and you have not looked at it.”
I cannot call you ignorant and propose that I am the knower and you are ignorant and reduce you, take your dignity, your freedom, your inquiry, and ask you just to believe. All the prophets have been doing that. The prophets are very high-class criminals, because they have destroyed man’s freedom, his dignity, his own search and inquiry. They have simply given you commandments. Who are they?
And just look into the lives of these prophets and you will be surprised that these people must have been insane. But they were worshipped - they are still worshipped. Nobody can question it.
In India, Krishna is a great prophet - and he was the cause of the greatest war that has happened in India. He tried to convince the leader of one party - Arjuna, his disciple - to go to war. It is good that Ronald Reagan has not found any Krishna. Arjuna tried hard, argued hard; the whole Shrimad Bhagavadgita is Arjuna’s argument for peace: “There is no need for war - what does it matter whether my brothers rule or I rule? Anyway, the war is going to be a massacre of millions of people. The victory will not be a great victory; it will be a victory over millions of dead people. I would rather go to the Himalayas and renounce the world.”
But Krishna would not let him go. And the final strategy was, when all arguments failed and he could not convince him for war, he said, “Listen, this is God’s decision; I am just speaking as a vehicle of God. I am the perfect incarnation of God; my word is God’s word. It is your destiny to go to war.”
Now there is no question of argument. You don’t argue with God. Even if you meet him you don’t argue with God, it does not look right. And when Krishna said, “I am God’s perfect incarnation,” Arjuna simply went to war and crippled the whole country for five thousand years. The war was so destructive, its wound in the soul of India’s being is still unhealed. India became so much afraid of war that all kinds of preachers of nonviolence. No war arose. It is not coincidental. Without the Mahabharata, the great war that Krishna created, there would have been no possibility for a Mahavira to teach people against war, or for Buddha to teach people nonviolence, because people have seen what violence can lead to.
But even these prophets.Mahavira insisted so much on nonviolence that he stretched the logic beyond sanity. You cannot even cultivate, because if you cultivate you will have to cut plants, and every plant has life. So the followers of Mahavira don’t cultivate. It is understandable that you should not kill just for the sake of eating; it is inhuman and barbarous. But to extend the argument to the point where it becomes stupid and absurd..