Once in a while it happens that in a certain situation the cosmic conscious is trying to relate to you. It wants to convey the message to you that you are living in a false world with false knowledge; the reality is not that there is only one life. It is the deepest part of your mind. But it is very difficult because it has to pass the barriers of collective unconscious, of unconscious, and it will be distorted at every barrier. By the time it reaches to the dreaming stage you will not recognize it.
Gautam Buddha told many stories about his past lives. Mahavira has done the same. Those two men are pioneers in opening the doors of a tremendous phenomenon which the whole of humanity has been denied.
And why is society so interested in there being no past life and no future life, that you will simply go either to hell or to heaven? Why are they so persistent? – Judaism, Christianity, Islam…. Their reason is that once you know that you have eternity available in both directions, then their religions will have to change dramatically. If you are an eternal being, then what will happen to creation? You were never created. What will happen to God, who is a creator? If there has never been a creation, there is no need of a creator. So much is at stake. If they open the doors, they are afraid their whole religion as it is will collapse.
Jainism and Buddhism could not believe in God, and the reason is this: it is not a logical refutation of the hypothesis of God, it is an existential experience that our eternal being is a proof that we were never created. And if we were never created, existence was never created.
We have been here always. Existence has been here always. God becomes absolutely meaningless.
And any ideology that is centered basically on God will be very afraid of what Jainism and Buddhism are saying. They are saying each one of you is a god in your own right. Some gods are asleep, a few gods are awake – but that does not make a difference in the quality. One day ultimately all will become awake.
So there is no question of there being one god; there will be as many gods as there are beings – infinite will be the number, because not only man but animals, trees, and even rocks have a being. And they are all slowly evolving at their own different pace.
Nobody has bothered to look into the psychology of Jainism and Buddhism, into why these two religions simply dropped the idea of God. It is not a philosophical refutation of God; they have never done that. But if eternity is available in the past, then your life gains a certain individuality; you have to function according to the experience that you have gained in thousands of lives. There is no other doctrine for you; you are carrying your doctrine within yourself. So both religions are not dogmatic; and whatever their discipline is, it is based on an inner experience.
Mahavira and Buddha continually repeat, “Don’t go on in a vicious circle. Just look into your past lives and see whether you have been doing this kind of thing always, for eternity. Do you have any mind or not, any intelligence or not?”