The first question:
It is said that Shankara was a Hindu Vedantin, and you have said that Shankara is a hidden Buddhist. Please clarify this.
Shankara is a hidden Buddhist, a hidden Jaina, and a hidden Mohammedan…in the same way as Buddha is a hidden Hindu, a hidden Jaina, and a hidden Christian…in the same way as Christ is a hidden Hindu, a hidden Mohammedan, and a hidden Buddhist.
Those who have known, have known only the one; there are not two to be known. Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian – these are just the names on the surface, the outer identity; the inner truth is one. Language may be different, but what is said is not different. The style of saying will be different, the process of explaining will be different, but there is no possibility of the taste being different – it is the same. This has to be understood properly. This misunderstanding, this stupidity creates a lot of unpleasantness. Hindus fight with Mohammedans, Jainas fight with Buddhists – and you must understand that truth is lost whenever and wherever there is any type of conflict. Truth is murdered in your fighting, untruth is created in your conflict, because conflict means violence. Then it doesn’t matter whether the violence is expressed in physical conflict or mental conflict. Violence is violence – it makes no difference whether the effort to destroy the other is physical or mental. The desire and the mentality to find fault in the other is the expansion of violence.
You must know that until you can see yourself in the other you have not gone beyond mind, nor have you entered the temple of consciousness. That temple has many doors and entry is possible from every door. Whosoever enters the temple, forgets the door. Nobody remembers the door after entering. Before entering, the door seems to be very important because one has to enter through it, but after that it becomes useless. Before entering one was facing the door and after entering the door is behind your back.
All the creeds are doors. You must know that you have not entered the temple if the creeds – Hindu, Mohammedan, Jaina – if they still seem very important to you, that means you are still looking at the door. After you have entered the temple and your back has turned towards the door, then the words Hindu and Mohammedan will become meaningless.