When I see a Christian or a Hindu or a Jaina or a Mohammedan, I see secondhand people. You would not like to purchase secondhand shoes from the market and you would not like to purchase secondhand clothes used by others from the market. But for your soul you purchase secondhand beliefs, secondhand shoes, secondhand clothes – dirty, ugly, used, rotten – and you think you are beautifying your life? You are insulting your very soul, you are dehumanizing yourself. To become a Christian or to become a Buddhist is to dehumanize yourself. The search has to be alone, the search has to be authentically individual.
Truth cannot be decided by the vote of the majority because truth is utterly individual and private. It is not an objective phenomenon. You can see my body – it is an objective phenomenon: whether my body exists or not can be decided easily by others. But whether I am enlightened or not cannot be decided by anybody else – certainly not by any majority vote.
A buddha is a buddha not because people have voted for him and given their majority vote that he is a buddha. He is a buddha by his own sheer declaration. Except himself there is no witness – it is utterly private. It is so interior that nobody else can penetrate it.
Truth cannot be decided by a majority vote. But that’s how people decide. That’s why religions are so interested in increasing their population, because if they have more people, certainly they have more truth. Christians can claim more truth than Jainas because they have a big crowd behind them. If there is a voting, then Christians will win and Jainas will be defeated. But it is not a question of voting. Even if a thousand owls vote that it is dark and there is no sun and light has never existed, even then, the lie remains a lie. A single swan is enough to declare that it is day.
Truth is not a question of democratic decision, it has nothing to do with the crowd. Catholics are against birth control, Mohammedans are against birth control, for the simple reason, for a political reason; the reason is that if birth control is allowed their population will start decreasing. And that is their only strength. They want to increase their population so one day they can prove to the world: “Look, if we have so many people on our side, it must be that truth is on our side.”
I would like to remind you of a famous statement of George Bernard Shaw. Somebody was arguing with him and the man said, “But so many people believe in what I am saying. How can so many people be wrong?”
And Bernard Shaw retorted, “If so many people believe in it then it must be wrong, because how can so many people be right?”