But the trouble is that people go on carrying their concepts even though they move into different climates…
One of my friends, a very scholarly brahmin, wanted to go to Tibet. He was very interested in the Tibetan language and Tibetan scriptures.
I said to him, “All that literature is available. You don’t have to go to Tibet. And you will not be able to remain there more than two days.”
He said, “Why not?”
I said, “How will you manage a bath before sunrise? And without a bath you cannot take your breakfast. You cannot eat anything unless you pray, but the prayer needs – an absolute necessity – that you take a bath.”
But he didn’t listen to me. He went to Tibet, and after just two days he was back. He could not exactly reach Lhasa, he returned back from Ladakh, which is just in between Tibet and India. Even Ladakh gave him so much trouble.
Taking an early morning bath in Ladakh can kill you. It is ice cold. So he came back, he did not go further.
I said, “What happened? It is just two days and you are back?”
He said, “You were right. I am a brahmin and I follow my religion. I cannot remain without a bath.”
Tibetan lamas came with the Dalai Lama as he escaped from Tibet when China invaded it. So hundreds of lamas came with him.
I was taking a meditation camp in Bodhgaya, the place where Gautam Buddha became enlightened, in exactly the same campus, by the side of the same tree. And a group of Tibetan lamas came to pay their respects to the tree under which Gautam Buddha had become enlightened.
And you will not believe it, even from far away they stink, because they are still following the idea that you should take one bath every year – in India! And it was hot summer and they were perspiring.
And they were still using the same kind of clothes as they used in Tibet – layer upon layer. There are many layers of clothes, and they are so dirty, so oily, and dust had been gathering on the oily clothes. They were good in Tibet, they prevented anything, any cold reaching to the person’s body, but in India…
They had not changed. I asked them, “Do you understand that all kinds of so-called religions are social conveniences. It was good in Tibet but here you are being stupid. So many layers of clothes upon clothes – you are being insane!”
But they said, “Our religion says one bath a year is absolutely necessary. More than that is luxury. More than that is condemned, it is dangerous.”
And to make people afraid that if you go against the dictates of your scriptures you will fall into hell, they said, “It is better to stink than to fall into hell.”