In Jainism and Buddhism, God comes at the end of evolution, and that is a more significant meaning. Then there is not a single God. That is also significant to remember, that a single God is bound to become a dictator. And the world cannot be really free under a dictator – a Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Ronald Reagan. And God is not elected by you. You are just puppets in his hands. As he created you out of mud, any day he can bulldoze you back into mud. There is no higher court of appeal. The whole idea of creation is whimsical. Buddhism says every living being is on the way to becoming a god. God is the ultimate evolution of consciousness. That’s why Buddha did not prevent his disciples from addressing him as Bhagwan.
Nor did Mahavira. They are Bhagwan, but their meaning is totally different. They are not creators of the world; they don’t claim any stupid, ridiculous idea; they are very straightforward. They are simply saying that consciousness evolves from animal to man, from man to God. So every living being one day is going to become God. The whole world will be full of gods. And this seems to be more scientific…just one solitary God, and existence looks so poor. And that solitary God, what will he do? Marijuana? Hashish? Or play cards with the Holy Ghost? What is he going to do from eternity to eternity?
But that’s how communication becomes difficult. The Hindu papers in India never write my name as Bhagwan. That is a taboo, because Bhagwan means one who created the world. I certainly am not so mad as to create this world.
Christians will be worried…. When I was in my first jail in America, I was sharing the cell with a criminal who had been there for many years. I was puzzled…I was first lying and resting – what else to do? But that man would get up – he had his Bible – and he would put the Bible on the bed, sit on the floor, put his head on the Bible and pray to God. His name was Bobby.
So one day I shook him and I said, “Bobby, what are you doing? If you are such a great Christian, you would not have been in jail. You have murdered, and you never thought about God, and about the Bible and everything. And God cannot help, because for four years you have been praying…and have you ever looked inside this Bible? Just putting your head on the Bible is not going to move the Bible into your head. It is not a creeping thing, it is just dead words.”
He was very much shocked. And he said, “I also wanted to ask you. When I heard that you are called Bhagwan, I was very surprised. Certainly you have not created the world.”
I said, “If I had created the world, you would not have been in it. You are enough proof I have not created this world.”
He was very shocked. He said, “You seem to be a very strange person.”
I said, “God has to be a strange person. And you are stupid, Bobby. I am sitting here and you are putting your head on a dead book. Turn towards me.”
He said, “But you are not a Christian.”
I said, “I am a god. Are you interested in God, or in a Christian God?”
He said, “You are raising problems that I have never thought about. Yes, it is true, I am interested in God, but if you are God, then why are you in jail?”
I said, “This is nothing, Bobby. Who was Jesus Christ?”
He said, “He was God – God’s only begotten son.”
And I said, “If he can be crucified, what is the problem of my being in jail? Your Christian God would also have been in jail. Because he has not been found yet, he is out of jail.”