Chapter 16: I Want a Meeting of East and West
I have always loved gardens, and wherever I have lived I have created beautiful gardens, lawns. I used to talk to people sitting on my lawn, and I became aware that they were all pulling the grass out.just hectic energy. If they had nothing to do they would simply pull the grass. I had to tell them, “If you go on doing this, then you will have to sit inside the room. I cannot allow you to destroy my lawn.”
They would stop themselves for a while, and as they started listening to me, again unconsciously, their hands would start pulling at the grass. So sitting silently doing nothing is not really just sitting silently and doing nothing. It is doing a big favor to the grass. Unless you are not doing anything, the grass cannot grow; you will stop it, you will pull it out, you will disturb it.
So these methods are absolutely necessary for the Western mind. But a new factor has also entered: they have become necessary for the Eastern mind too. The mind for which Shiva wrote those one hundred and twelve methods of meditation no longer exists - even in the East now. The Western influence has been tremendous. Things have changed.
In Shiva’s time there was no Western civilization. The East was at its peak of glory; it was called “a golden bird.” It had all the luxuries and comforts: it was really affluent.
Now the situation is reversed: the East has been in slavery for two thousand years, exploited by almost everyone in the world, invaded by a dozen countries, continuously looted, raped, burned. It is now a beggar.
And three hundred years of British rule in India have destroyed India’s own educational system - which was a totally different thing. They forced the Eastern mind to be educated according to Western standards. They have almost turned the Eastern intelligentsia into a second-grade Western intelligentsia. They have given their disease of speediness, of hurry, of impatience, of continuous anguish, anxiety, to the East.
If you see the temples of Khajuraho or the temples of Konarak, you can see the East in its true colors.
Just in Khajuraho there were one hundred temples; only thirty have survived, seventy have been destroyed by Mohammedans. Thousands of temples of tremendous beauty and sculpture have been destroyed by Mohammedans. These thirty survived; it was just coincidence, because they were part of a forest. Perhaps the invaders forgot about them.
But the British influence on the Indian mind was so great, that even a man like Mahatma Gandhi wanted these thirty temples to be covered with mud so nobody could see them. Just to think of the people who had created those hundred temples.each temple must have taken centuries to build. They are so delicate in structure, so proportionate and so beautiful, that there exists nothing parallel to them on the earth.
And you can imagine that temples don’t exist alone; if there were a hundred temples, there must have been a city of thousands of people; otherwise a hundred temples are meaningless. Where are those people? With the temples those people have been massacred.