In history, Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Kanad, Gautam, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu – people like these you will not find even in the footnotes. And Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler – they make up the major portion of history. In fact, we have to write the whole of history again because all these people have to be completely erased. Even the memory of them should not be carried on, because even their memory may have evil effects on people.
A better humanity will not give these names even a place in the footnotes; there is no need. They were nightmares; it is better they are completely forgotten so they don’t follow you like shadows. And we have to discover people who have lived on this earth and made it in every way beautiful; shared their joy, their dance, their music, shared their ecstasies – but lived anonymously. People have completely forgotten even their names.
People don’t have any idea how many religious people have lived on this earth and are not known. The reason that you know those few names that are known, is not simply that they were religious – there are some extra reasons. Just think: If Jesus was not crucified, would you have ever heard his name? So it is not Jesus – not his qualities, not his goodness – but crucifixion which makes him a historical figure.
You know Gautam the Buddha, not because he was an enlightened man, but because he was the son of a very great king. And when the son of such a great king renounces his kingdom, of course the whole country far and wide buzzes with his name. It is not because he is religious but because he has renounced such a big kingdom – the same kingdom that you have been aspiring to and dreaming of perhaps for many lives. And this man has some nerve – he just drops the whole kingdom without ever looking back.
That’s why you remember Gautam Buddha. Somewhere they have to mention his name because he was a king who renounced his kingdom. If he had been a poor man’s son then nobody would have even heard about him. And there have been many whose names are not known at all. Even while they were alive only a few people came to feel that they had a different kind of presence. Goodness has its own intrinsic power, and it has its own benefit, blessing. It is not somewhere else in some other life – that if you do good now, in your other life you will get paid for it. That is a strange kind of law – and that’s what the law of karma is.
If you are living a poor, miserable, suffering life, the law of karma says it is because in a past life you committed evil acts – this is the result of them. If somebody is enjoying good health, money, power, all the joys of life, you need not be jealous of him: he has done good deeds in a past life and now he is reaping the crop. He has sown the seeds in his past life.
But why so much distance between sowing the seeds and reaping the crop? Is it that always in one life you do good or bad, and in another life comes the result? To me there seems to be some conspiracy in it. It is not a law, it is a conspiracy, because the priest cannot manage to explain why somebody is rich when everybody knows that what he is doing is evil – and still he goes on becoming richer. And we know that somebody is good, but he is starving. So what good is good?