They have distorted them, just to condemn them. For example, he must have said that there is no other world – in the same sense that I am saying there is no other world. That world is only a fiction, and for a fiction, this world – which is a reality – has to be sacrificed. And then a man is given respectability. He is accepted as the awakened one, as a great prophet, as a great saint – as God incarnated.
To fulfill our expectation, many people have lived almost not in bodies but in corpses. We have made such a strange demand, and they were not courageous enough to deny us. Those who denied – for example, Brihaspati – his books were burnt.
In the critics’ books they quote Brihaspati as saying that you can enjoy this life even if you have to borrow money, because there is no other life; so don’t be worried that you will have to pay after life or that you are committing a sin.
Now, this I certainly think is a distortion of the same fact that I am saying – that there is no other world. He must have said there is no other world. He must have said to enjoy this world as much as possible – there is no sin. But this seems to be a distortion. The critics have put the words into his mouth that you can drink as much ghee as you like, even if you have to borrow money, because there is no other life. Everybody dies, simply dies, so nobody is going to ask after life if you were a sinner or a saint. The only difference is herenow, whether you are enjoying or not.
This seems to be not exactly what Brihaspati may have said. But it can give the indication that the man must have said that there is no other life, that this is the only life there is. And it continues on; there is no death, there is no god that you have to follow or worship or pray to. The only prayer is that you live a life of joy. Other than that there is no prayer.
So although his name is mentioned in the Vedas as Acharya Brihaspati – master, a great master, Brihaspati – not a single book of the man has survived. And he must have had a great following. Down the ages there may have been many people writing on the same lines, but all their books have been burnt.
In Greece there was Epicurus – the same kind of man. They mention his name as one of the philosophers, but they don’t give any importance to him over Aristotle, Plato and other Greek philosophers. He needs to be on the top, because he was trying, twenty-five centuries back, exactly what I am saying.
He lived in a small commune which was known as the garden of Epicurus where everything was uninhibitedly enjoyed. There was no marriage; there was nothing which was sin, there was nothing which was virtue. All was about living as totally as possible. And they lived in a forest immensely joyfully – having nothing much.
Epicurus is the first man to have created a commune, and to have created a commune of Zorbas. But nothing in Greek history is mentioned about the commune in detail – exactly what they were doing, what was their basic philosophy. It has been prevented by the religious traditions, by so-called respectability, civilization, culture – because Epicurus seems to be rebellious.
And these people like Brihaspati and Epicurus can already be called “Zorba the Buddhas.”