The same happened in Egypt to Hermes: many scriptures, all written by the disciples. And the same happened with Orpheus in Greece, and the same with Lao Tzu in China and Confucius in China. The disciple loses his identity. He becomes utterly one with the master. But something of immense value has been destroyed by stupidity.
Pythagoras is the first experiment in creating a synthesis. Twenty-five centuries have passed since then and nobody else has tried it again. Nobody else before had done, and nobody else has done it afterwards. It needs a mind which is both scientific and mystic. It is a rare phenomenon. It happens only once in a while.
There have been great mystics: Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra. And there have been great scientists: Newton, Edison, Einstein. But to find a man who is at home with both worlds, easily at home, is very difficult. Pythagoras is that kind of man: a class unto himself. He cannot be categorized by anybody else.
The synthesis that he tried was needed, particularly in his days, as it is needed today – because the world is again at the same point. The world moves like a wheel. The Sanskrit word for the world is samsara. Samsara means the wheel. The wheel is big: one circle is completed in twenty-five centuries. Twenty-five centuries before Pythagoras, Atlantis committed suicide, out of man’s own scientific growth. But without wisdom, scientific growth is dangerous. It is putting a sword in the hands of a child.
Now twenty-five centuries have passed since Pythagoras. Again the world is in chaos. Again the wheel has come to the same point – it always comes to the same point. It takes twenty-five centuries for this moment to happen. After every twenty-five centuries the world comes into a state of great chaos.
Man becomes uprooted, starts feeling meaningless. All the values of life disappear. A great darkness surrounds him. All sense of direction is lost. One simply feels accidental. There seems to be no purpose, no significance. Life seems to be just a by-product of chance. It seems existence does not care for you. It seems there is no life after death. It seems whatsoever you do is futile, routine, mechanical. All seems to be pointless.
These times of chaos, disorder, can either be a great curse, as it happened in Atlantis, or they can prove a quantum leap in human growth. It depends on how we use them. It is only in such great times of chaos that great stars are born.
Pythagoras was not alone. In Greece, Pythagoras and Heraclitus were born, in India, Buddha and Mahavira and many others, in China, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Confucius, Mencius, Lieh Tzu, and many more, in Iran, Zarathustra, in the brahmin tradition, many great Upanishadic seers, in the world of Judaism, Moses. All these people, these great masters were born at a certain stage in human history, twenty-five centuries ago.