Buddha has said: “Lies are sweet in the beginning, bitter in the end. In the beginning they look like nectar, in the end they prove fatal, poisonous. Truth is bitter in the beginning, sweet in the end. In the beginning it looks like poison, as if it is going to kill you; in the end it is elixir, it is nectar. It makes you capable of knowing the eternal, the deathless.”
The third question:
Do you consider yourself God, God’s representative on earth, a prophet, and-or just a very clear individual? Having seen you a couple of times in morning discourse and listening to audios and videos of you, you never seem to answer this question. How and why do you know or feel something I do not?
The first thing is that there is no God. Yes, there is godliness, but no God. The idea of God is anthropocentric. The Bible says: God created man in his own image. The truth is just the opposite: man has created God in his own image. God is nothing but a projection of human wishes, desires, longings. God is nothing but the projection of human mind.
That does not mean that I am an atheist, but I am not a theist either. My position is exactly that of Gautama the Buddha. He was not an atheist and he was not a theist. He did not believe in God, he did not disbelieve in God. What was his position?
His position is very unique, his position is worth sharing. His space is worth communing with. And that is the space of all meditators: they believe in godliness. The whole existence is overfull with spirituality, but there is no such person as God.
You ask me, “Do you consider yourself God…?” No, sir, certainly not! Even if I was I would have denied it – because who would take responsibility for this ugly world? I cannot take responsibility for creating you. That will be the real original sin!
I am not God, but I have known godliness – in me, in you, everywhere. Godliness is a quality, this fragrance that permeates the whole of existence. The only difference between you and me is that I am aware of it and you are not aware of it; otherwise there is no difference. I am awake, you are asleep. We are exactly the same, participating in the same existence, breathing the same godliness, living in the same ocean of godliness. We are the fish of the same ocean, but you are not aware of the ocean and I am aware of the ocean, both within and without.
I don’t know more than you know – you may know more than me. My knowledge is poor; I am not a knowledgeable person. And whatsoever I quote is not reliable! You may know more, you may be well informed. You have a great accumulation of facts. In that way I am utterly poor, as poor as a child. But that is not a real difference; that is not the difference that makes the difference.
The only thing that is significant is being aware of the reality.