Chapter 3: From Belief toward Truth
Only words, blank and empty, remain. That which was experienced at the seashore is left far behind. Those who reach the shores of truth, they too, long to convey the joy of their experience to those they love; so that those who could not come that far may also get a glimpse of that wonderful experience. They fill their chests with words and send them to us. The Gita, the Bible, the Koran reach us; but that which they tried to send, remains far behind. Their compassion is unquestionable but their words fail to convey truth.
Words have never been adequate. If the beloved had held the box to her bosom and danced we would have called her insane; but if she had caught the meaning behind the box, she would have run to the seashore. Then she would have partaken of the joy of the dancing waves and the cool breeze. But this is possible only if after getting the message, she is willing to cast the casket aside and set out toward the place from where something was attempted to be conveyed.
Those that likewise cast the shastras aside and proceed toward the source of the shastras find themselves, one day, at the shores of the ocean of truth. But we are such fools - we made a fanfare of the Gita and are completely oblivious of the source from where Krishna sent the message of the Gita. So also, have we done with the Bible and the Koran.
If Krishna and Christ, Mahavira and Buddha, happen to look at us, they will shed tears of anguish. They will say: “We tried to send them a whiff of the sea breeze but they have clung to the words of our message and remained where they were.” If they had their way, they would snatch all the books and throw them into the sea. But even if Krishna were to snatch the Gita away from us, we would catch him by the neck - for what have we besides the Gita?
Dostoevsky, of Russia, wrote a book: The Brothers Karamazov. In that he says that after eighteen hundred years since his death, Jesus thought that the time was ripe for him to revisit the earth. There were churches erected in every village to preach his message; there were priests and monks with the cross dangling from their necks. Almost half the world had turned Christian! He was sure of a tumultuous welcome.
So one Sunday, Jesus descended into a village and stood under a tree. People were returning from the village church; the morning mass was over. They were surprised to see a Christlike figure standing under the tree. Who is this man dressed like Jesus? He must be an actor, they thought. They gathered around him, full of curiosity and began to question him: “Your acting is perfect. You look exactly like Christ.”
“But I am Christ,” said Jesus. They laughed aloud; one threw a stone, another a slipper and they all danced around him, calling him insane. One, out of pity, told him to go before the priest caught him.
“Your priest? He is my priest. Don’t you recognize me? I am the one to whom you pray every morning.”
“We shall worship you as you deserve, if you do not make yourself scarce quickly!” they told him.