But today I have suddenly decided to speak again – again after one thousand, three hundred and fifteen days – for the simple reason that the picture that I have been painting all my life needs a few touches here and there to complete it, because that day when I became silent, everything was left incomplete. Before I depart from you as far as my physical body is concerned, I would like to complete it.
I have been speaking to Hindus, to Christians, to Jews, to Mohammedans, to Jainas, to Buddhists, to Sikhs, to people belonging to almost all the so-called religions. This is for the first time that I am speaking to my own people: not to Hindus, not to Mohammedans, not to Christians, not to Jews. It makes a lot of difference, and only because of that difference can I give the finishing touch to the picture that I have been painting. What difference does it make? To you I can speak directly, immediately. To the Hindus I had to speak through Krishna, and I was not happy about it. But there was no other way, it was a necessary evil. To Christians I could speak only through Jesus. I was not at ease about it, but there was no other way. So one has to choose the least evil. Let me explain to you….
I do not agree with Jesus on all points. In fact, there are many questions which I have left unanswered, because even to touch them would have been destructive to those Christians who had come to me. Now they are clean. People say that I am brainwashing people. No, I am not brainwashing people. I am certainly washing their brains – and I believe in dry cleaning! So I can say to you now exactly what I feel; otherwise, it was a burden on me.
To speak on Mahavira was necessary because without that it was impossible to get any Jainas to hear me. And with Mahavira I do not agree on all points. In fact, my disagreement is on more points than my agreement. So I had to do a strange job: I had to choose those points on which I could agree, and not talk at all about those points which I was absolutely against. And even on the points on which I have a certain agreement, I had to manage another thing: that was to give new meanings to their words, to give my meaning to their words. It was not their meaning. If Mahavira comes he will be angry; if Jesus comes he will be angry. If this whole crowd of Jesus, Mahavira, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu meets me somewhere, they will all be mad at me because I have made them say things they would never have dreamed of. They could not. Sometimes I have even put meanings into their words which go basically against them. But there was no other way.
The whole world is divided. You can’t find a single man who is clean. Either he is a Christian – he is carrying one kind of dirt; or he is a Hindu – he is carrying another kind of dirt. Now it is possible for me to say exactly and directly things which may even sound bitter.
You have asked why I call my religion the first and perhaps the last religion.