They were painted exactly alike, but the statue of Rama was made of brass and the statue of Jesus was made of very soft wood, very lightweight wood. Naturally, Jesus was victorious…and the whole crowd of the aboriginals looked at each other. They said, “Now, there is no way. We have to change. We have been worshipping a fellow who cannot save himself. How can he save us?”
At that moment I thought, “Now it is too much.” I went into the crowd and I told the missionary, “Before anything else happens I want to ask a few questions to the crowd.”
He said, “I have no objection.”
I asked the crowd, “Have you ever, in the whole history of your race, heard of anything like a water test?”
They said, “We have never heard; we have heard only about the fire test.” The missionary became afraid….
I said, “Make a bonfire here and then we will see who is the right god.”
And they jumped and they enjoyed the idea, that “In the first place that idiot is using a wrong method. ‘Water test’! Who has ever heard of it? A fire test is a well-known thing.”
The fire was built and I told the people, “Don’t let this missionary escape; he will try.” So four or five young men surrounded the missionary and I said, “This is your duty, because after the test about the gods we will test the missionary!”
The gods were tested and of course Jesus burned immediately. Rama came out without any problem. I asked the crowd, “Now what do you want? Should we test this missionary also?”
They said, “That’s the right thing to do, because he was trying to deceive us.” And the missionary was almost in tears, nervous, trembling and he said, “You are an educated man – don’t kill me! I have nothing to do with Jesus Christ or anybody, I am just a missionary; I just get a salary for it.”
I told the people, “Let the poor fellow go…”
Who is telling you to change the father or mother? All the religions have been doing that, arguing with each other – “Our god is better, superior, more powerful than your god.” That’s the whole idea of conversion.
There have been only two religions, Judaism and Hinduism, which are non-converting religions. But not for the right reasons – they don’t convert anybody because anybody who is not born a Jew is an inferior being; anybody who is not born a Hindu cannot be converted to Hinduism because by conversion you cannot purify him. He will have to go through a whole process of disciplining himself so that in the next life he is born as a Hindu; conversion is not possible right now. It is a long process of transformation.