Pontius Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus, so he made an arrangement – because he felt that he was crucifying a very innocent man – that Jesus should be put on the cross as late as possible on Friday. So it was delayed and delayed, and when finally he was put on the cross, he was left there for only six hours. Nobody has ever died on the Jewish cross in six hours in the whole of history.
And then came the Sabbath, and Jews stop every action. And this was the strategy: they had to bring down Jesus’ body. Perhaps he was feeling weak – blood had gone out, but he was not dead – and he was put in a cave. And then it was very easy for Pontius Pilate – because Roman soldiers were guarding the cave – to allow Jesus’ followers to take him out of Judea as quickly as possible.
Those wounds healed and he lived a long life. But in India he lived very silently. He had learned the hard way that to say, “I am the only begotten son of God, I am the last messiah, the one you have been waiting for” just brings crucifixion and nothing else.
No miracle happened.
Even on the cross he was angry at God because it looked to him as if God had betrayed him. It was all in his mind – there is no God, no question of betraying; but in his mind he was so fanatically convinced, that after watching for a few hours, he shouted towards the sky, “Father, have you forsaken me?” – because no miracle was happening. It seems he was hoping angels would be coming, playing on their harps, sitting on white clouds. Nothing happened.
In India he remained silent with the group that had traveled with him. Thomas traveled with him. You will be surprised to know that Indian Christianity is the oldest Christianity in the world; the Vatican comes three hundred years afterwards. He sent Thomas to south India, and made it clear: “Don’t talk about those things we were talking about in Judea.” But in India it is not a problem.
It happened once, I was staying in one campus, a university campus – it was holiday time, and the campus was used for a Hindu world conference. There were at least nine people who thought they were gods. Hindus don’t bother about it. They said, “There is no harm, it is harmless.”
Somebody believes he is a god – rather than crucifying him, they worship him. That is more torturous, remember, because now he has to behave like a god, and he is just a human being so he has to repress his humanity, his biology, his physiology – everything. But Hindus don’t do any harm to him; he himself does it.
Just in one campus, nine people proclaiming themselves god…and there is no problem about who is the true one, because Hindus believe in thirty-three million gods, so what does it matter? It is not a monopoly of one god. Only Hindu gods are democratic. All other gods are dictatorial – just one god. They cannot tolerate another.
Thirty-three million – that was the population of India in the old days. They have made exactly the same number of gods. So you can have your own special god – unique and personal, no need to share it with anybody else. They can choose their own god. And there are so many religions in India.