The first question:
Are Krishna, Mahavira, Buddha and Lao Tzu also responsible for the poverty in the world, just as Jesus Christ is? I myself want to serve the poor and the downtrodden. Can I do it with your blessings?
Yes, these people are responsible for the poverty in the world. Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, are as much responsible as Jesus Christ, for the simple reason that they all insisted on the inner against the outer. And the outer has to be developed as much as the inner, otherwise man loses balance If you only grow in the outside world you become rich, but inside you become just a beggar. And vice versa is also true: if you emphasize only the inner journey you certainly become rich in meditation, in awareness, but you become poor on the outside.
It is certainly easy to take care of one side – easy because you don’t have to be continuously balancing between two polar opposites. But life consists of polar Opposites. Life is like a tightrope walk: the tightrope walker has to balance himself each moment; not for a single moment has he to stop balancing. The moment he stops balancing he falls from the rope. Yes, sometimes he will lean to the left so that he does not fall to the right, but when he leans too much to the left again the danger of falling…. He immediately has to balance it by leaning towards the right, but not too much. A constant alertness is needed, only then can one remain total, whole. And to be whole is to be holy.
That’s the message of the Upanishadic philosophy, of the Mandukya Upanishad: wholeness – a single word contains it. Albert Einstein is not whole, neither is Mahavira whole. Both have chosen one part, one aspect of the coin, but the neglected aspect is bound to take its revenge. And humanity has lived up to now in a very lopsided way.
It hurts, I know, when I say that Jesus Christ Krishna, Mahavira, Buddha, Lao Tzu, are responsible for the poverty of the world, but what can I do? I have to say the truth as it is. I feel sorry for you because it is going to hurt you, but my responsibility is towards truth, my commitment is towards truth. And the truth is that in different ways all these people have helped man to remain retarded.