Naturally the Hindu priests started talking of twenty-four avatars. It is a borrowed foolishness. In the first place, foolishness; in the second place, borrowed. That is the worst thing that can happen to anybody. And this has happened to a great country of millions of people.
This disease was so infectious that when Buddha died the Buddhists felt naturally very deceived – what do you say?…put down, belittled, humiliated. Why had he not told them about the figure twenty-four? “Jainas have it; Hindus have it…and we have only one buddha,” so they created twenty-four buddhas who preceded Gautam the Buddha.
Now, you can see how far nonsense can go. Yes, it can go on and on…That’s what I mean, but I have to end the sentence. Remember, that does not mean that I am putting a full stop on nonsense; it has no end.
If you are stupid, you are as infinitely stupid as they say God is wise. I don’t know anything about God and his wisdom, but I know about your foolishness. That’s what I am here to do; just to help you get rid of the stupidity you are now carrying. First the Jainas carried it, then Hindus borrowed it, then Buddhists borrowed it, then the number twenty-four becomes an absolute necessity.
I have seen one man, Swami Satyabhakta…he is one of those rare people whom I always have wondered why existence tolerated at all. He thought that he was the twenty-fifth tirthankara. Mahavira was the twenty-fourth; of course Jainas could not forgive Satyabhakta and they expelled him.
I told him, “Satyabhakta, if you want to be a tirthankara, why can’t you be the first? Why stand in a queue, just trying hard for your whole life to be the twenty-fifth, the last? Just look behind you, there is nobody there.”
He made great effort, and worked very hard writing hundreds of books – and he was very scholarly. That also proves that he is a fool, but not an ordinary fool, an extraordinary fool.
I told him, “Why don’t you create your own religion if you have known the truth?”
He said, “That’s the problem, I’m not certain.”
I said, “Then at least don’t bother others. First be certain. Wait, let me call your wife.”
He said, “No, no!”
I said, “Wait. I am calling your wife. You cannot stop me.”
But I need not have called, she had come already. In fact I had seen her coming, that’s why I had said, “Don’t stop me.” Nobody could have stopped her, she was already coming. I don’t mean the word coming as you Westerners mean it. She was really coming, and she came with great force.