Buddhism has great appeal in the West. Hundreds of Buddhist monasteries are opening up in America, in Europe, in Holland, in Germany; and in India, thousands of people are converting themselves every day into Christianity. What is this mathematics? How it is happening? – for the simple reason, the religion of Gautam the Buddha is appealing only to those whose all needs are fulfilled. It is the highest quality of religion, it is like an Everest.
Jesus has appeal – not because people understand Jesus – he has appeal only because of his miracles. Take the miracles away and people will stop getting into Christianity, they will lose all interest. Hence the Christian theologians, the Christian missionaries go on emphasizing the miracle part, which is just a mythology, which is not true, which is absolutely false – but it is not new. It has been in the air for long, for the simple reason because Jesus also was working in poor people. He was a poor man’s son. All his friends, followers were poor people. They can understand only a language which appealed to their needs. All his followers were either farmers, gardeners, fishermen, carpenters, or people like these – uneducated, uncultured, unsophisticated. They must have created these stories about him, otherwise they would not have remained with him. These miracle stories function like glue. And for two thousand years that has been the appeal of Christianity.
It always appeals the poor. In India also you will not see Jainas being converted into Christianity – they are rich enough for that. You will not see brahmins being converted to Christianity – they are rich enough for that. Then who are the people who are being converted to Christianity? The very poor people, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the aboriginals, the untouchables, the hungry, the starving, the crippled, the paralyzed, the blind, the deaf, the ill, the orphans – these are the people who become interested in Christianity.
Now what they have to do with meditation? They need miracles; they don’t want any inward eye, they don’t want any spiritual nourishment. That is the first and the most important reason that people are not interested towards my vision, particularly in the East. But about that too, one condition has to be remembered.
In the East too, Japanese are interested in me; because that is the only country which is rich. You will find hundreds of Japanese here. Many centers are opening in Japan for me, many books are being published in Japan. There is great stir in Japan, and I have been really surprised. Whenever people come to me I ask, “How long you are going to stay?” Germans almost always stay for three months, four months. Japanese always stay for six months, nine months, twelve months, two years. Japan is the only country which has come to a level of affluence which is rich, and their needs are now totally different. They will not go to Satya Sai Baba, they will not be interested there at all.