The first thing when you ask a question is to recognize your ignorance. From there the inquiry starts. A question is beautiful when the questioner knows that he doesn’t know. Then a question is healthy – because the mother is healthy, and the question is your child. When you say, “I don’t know, and I ask because I don’t know,” then the question is tremendously healthy, alive, its heart beating. It breathes. And I love an alive question; then something can be done.
Now, you bring a dead question because you cannot accept the fact that you don’t know. You know perfectly well that this owner of the Grand Hotel is ignorant that he is asking. That’s why I am going to answer – because I know it is your question.
“Why did God create this world?” First thing: it may be a surprise to you that God never created this world. This world is your creation. God has created a world, but you don’t know about that world at all. This world he has not created at all: this world where Richard Nixon exists, where Vietnam exists, where Idi Amin Dada exists. This world God has not created: this world of Adolf Hitlers and Mussolinis, and fascism and communism, and Stalin and Mao. This world God has not created: this world where such tremendous poverty exists because people are so greedy, because people go on hoarding; this world where such ugly life exists, where not even a shower of love happens – desert-like, loveless, people just competing, fighting, conflicting – where such immense violence exists… This world, God has not created. This is your world. You are the creator of it. You are this world. This world is your projection; this world vibrates on your ugliness.
So the first thing: God has not created this world. Please don’t make him responsible for it; he is not. Otherwise he would be the greatest criminal if he had created this world. At least I for one declare that he has not created this world – this is your creation.
But you will say, and logically too, that he has created us, and if we create this world then finally he is responsible. No, still I say he is not responsible – because he has created you as freedom. That is the thing to be understood.
This ugly world wouldn’t exist if God had created you as slaves. If God had created you as robots, mechanisms, then this ugly world would not exist. Then you would all be buddhas, but meaningless buddhas. If a buddha cannot be an Adolf Hitler, if the very possibility is denied, then the buddha is just a statue, meaningless. If you have to be good, and there is no freedom to be bad, then what is the point of being good? The world would have been good if God had not created you as freedoms. If he had forced you to be just mechanical repetitions, gramophone records, then you all would have been delivering a Sermon on the Mount, or a Bhagavad Gita. But a gramophone record is a gramophone record.
God has created you as freedom. Of course, in freedom the opposite is implied. You can do good if you choose, you can do bad if you choose that way, and the choice is yours. God has given you all freedom to choose.