Chapter 4: Misery Is the Prison
But I said, “Hypothetically there must have been a first life, or you have to accept another hypothesis - that this vicious circle has been going on eternally. Always there was a past life, always there was a past life. Then you cannot get out of this vicious circle, because in the next life you will suffer from this life’s acts. And then for seventy years you cannot remain a saint; even for twenty-four hours one cannot remain a saint. One needs holidays. Even your saints have holidays. And in the next life you will again commit a few evil acts.”
And what are evil acts? They are so simple it is impossible not to commit them. You see a beautiful woman; the scriptures say, “Close your eyes. Don’t see her.” But they forget completely that you close your eyes only because you have seen her! The evil act has been committed; otherwise why are you closing your eyes? You don’t close your eyes seeing an ugly woman. No scripture says, “When you see an ugly woman close your eyes.” Strange. You yourself close them without any scriptures, without any teachers, without any religions. But when you see a beautiful woman you don’t want to close your eyes, you really forget to blink - and it is natural.
Not only that - the latest scientific experiments about this phenomenon have revealed strange things. I can give you a deck of cards in which there are beautiful women, ugly women, naked women, beautiful flowers - different things on different cards. And I need not see the cards. You can go on looking at the cards, and when you come to a beautiful naked woman I can just watch your eyes and I can say, “Now you have come to a beautiful woman” - because your eyes are windows. You want to absorb that beauty more, so your eyes become wider. That is a natural mechanism.
When you go outside in the sun your eyes become smaller, the window shrinks, because the sun is too much and there is no need to take in that much light. When you come home, slowly the eyes again open to their normal size. But when you see something beautiful they become wider, wide open. It is not in your hands, it is not that you are doing it. Even a saint will have to do it because it is not a voluntary thing. It is non-voluntary, it happens on its own accord. It is biologically set up.
You have this word in English, respect. People have destroyed its meaning. It does not mean “honor” - or it means honor in a very different way than you understand. Respect means the desire to see again, re-spect - spect means seeing. If it is honor, it is honor for beauty - because you want to see it again. The woman has passed, you find some excuse to see her again, as if somebody has called you or you have forgotten something, and you turn back. These are sins.
But if to appreciate beauty is sin, then all art is sin. Then all paintings are sin, all great music is sin, all great literature is sin, and all great poetry is sin. Why confine it to women? When you look at a sunset and you are filled with the beauty of it, you are committing a sin. Or when you see a roseflower and it overpowers you with its beauty, its delicateness, you are committing a sin.
These religious people have managed such simple things so that it is impossible to get out of the wheel of life. You will be committing sins, and you will be coming back to suffer the punishment.