It is very consoling to have the answer, and if it is freely available, as it is…. Jesus says, “Just believe in me and you need not bother: I will take care. I will choose you at the day of judgment. I will recommend you to God: ‘These are my people – they should be allowed in paradise.’ All that you have to do is believe.”
A real shortcut – simple belief. That’s why thousands of people around the world have believed, and thousands of others have disbelieved. Their sources are different but the basic approach is the same.
In India there has been a very ancient philosophy, charvaka. That philosophy says there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no punishment for your bad actions and no reward for your good actions. And thousands have believed in it. It is negative, absolutely negative, but very comfortable. You can steal, you can murder, you can do anything you like; after death nothing survives.
In many ways the West has lagged behind the East, particularly as far as religion, philosophy, culture, are concerned. Charvaka is a five-thousand-year-old ideology; Karl Marx just in the last stage of the previous century said there is no God. He was not aware of charvaka, he thought he had come to a great discovery. For five thousand years charvakas have already been saying that; but they had not inquired.
The man who created the philosophy was Brihaspati – must have been a man of charismatic personality. He convinced people that you can do anything you want to because the thief, the murderer, the saint, all fall: dust unto dust. And after death nothing is left; the saint disappears, the sinner disappears. So don’t bother at all about afterlife, there is none.
This is not inquiry, because charvakas and their master Brihaspati have never gone beyond death. According to their philosophy, if they had gone they would have not come back – so on what grounds do they say that there is nothing left? Nobody has visited the land. But it is very easy to believe. His famous statement is worth quoting.
Brihaspati says, Rinam kritva ghritam pivet: “Even if you have to borrow money, borrow it, but drink ghee as much as you can” – because after death you are not going to be questioned, punished. The person who had given you money cannot drag you into the court of God; there are no such things. His whole philosophy is simply, “Eat, drink and be merry.” You can believe in it – the theists will call it disbelief.
And that’s what Karl Marx did for the communists, he said that there is no soul, no consciousness. It is a by-product of matter, so when the body falls apart, nothing is left. This became a very dangerous attitude, because communists could kill people without thinking twice.
Their belief is that by killing you are not committing any sin. There is nobody inside a person; there is no inside. A man is chemistry, biology, physiology – but there is no soul. Joseph Stalin could kill almost one million people after the revolution without feeling even a slight doubt about what he was doing.