Chapter 23: “Nothing” Is My Sword
Strange that God should choose a fish to be his first incarnation - but God simply means life and nothing else; it is just that one is a religious term, the other is a biological term. The scientists would say that life was born in the ocean, but they both agree that the first manifestation of life was that of a fish. Charles Darwin came just a century ago with the idea of a monkey, but in India, for centuries we have worshipped the monkey-god Hanuman with great respect because he is our forefather. Now scientists are agreeing, because the last stage in the mother’s womb is that of a monkey - the child looks like a monkey.
If all the photographs from the day you become part of your mother’s womb to the day you come out of the womb are presented to you, you will not be able to recognize any of them as your picture, that it is your album.
Even after birth, if detailed pictures are being kept from his childhood up to the age of seventy, a person will not be able to recognize that at some time, some day he has been identified with all these bodies. He is still there; those bodies are gone.
Man is not a body. Man is not a mind either. A Hindu has a Hindu mind, a Christian has a Christian mind; a Buddhist has a Buddhist mind. Mind is given to you by the society. What you bring with you is only a brain, and that brain is a tabula rasa, nothing is written on it. You can write Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, communism, or any nonsense. And you are not left in freedom to choose what you would like to be written on your brain. Before you are aware, the society has already filled your mind completely with all kinds of superstitions. You are not a Hindu.
It was always a problem whenever there was census in this country. The officers would come to me with their forms, and in their forms it was to be filled in to what religion I belonged. And I said, “I don’t belong to any religion.”
They said, “Then you have to write that you are an atheist.”
I said, “I don’t belong to atheism either, because if there is no God I am not going to waste my time in denying something which does not exist. A few are worshipping him, a few are denying him - and he does not exist at all. No, I am not an atheist.”
They would say, “It is not right, the form has to be filled in completely.”
I said, “I am not here to fill in the form. You can take the form incomplete - and anyway I am not going to vote, because it is so difficult to choose which idiot to vote for. I have never voted in my life.”
They would take their registers and run away, and they would look again and again at me - “This man seems to be dangerous. He will not fill in the form, and now he says ‘I cannot vote because the problem is how to decide which idiot is less idiotic, it is a very difficult psychological problem. You just take your registers and your forms. I am just myself.’”
You are not the body, you are not the mind - these are your sicknesses, your false identities. Enlightenment simply means coming home, coming to the center which you are.