When I was a student in the university I used to stay with one of my professors. His mother was a very devout Hindu; completely uneducated, but very religious. One day on a cold winter night, a fire was burning in the room in the fireplace, and I was reading Rig Veda. She came by the way and she asked, “What are you reading so late in the night?” Just to tease her, I said, “This is the Koran.” She jumped over me, took away the Rig Veda and threw it in the fireplace and said, “Are you a Mohammedan? How do you dare to bring the Koran in my house!” Next day I told her son, my professor that, “Your mother is a Mohammedan” – because this sort of thing has only been known to be done by Mohammedans.
Mohammedans burned one of the greatest treasures of the world, the library of Alexandria. The library was the greatest in the ancient world. The fire continued for almost six months, the library was so big. It took six months for it to be burned down completely. And the man who burnt it was a Mohammedan, Calipha. His logic is the logic of the first type of religion. He came with a Koran in one hand and with a burning torch in the other, and he asked the librarian, “I have a simple question. In this big library, millions of books are there….”
Those books contained all that humanity had learned up to that time, and it was really more than we know now. That library contained every information about Lemuria, Atlantis, and all the scriptures of Atlantis, the continent that disappeared into the Atlantic. It was the ancientmost library, a great preserve. Had it still been, humanity would have been totally different – because we are rediscovering many things which had already been discovered.
This Calipha said, “If this library contains only that which is contained in the Koran, then it is not needed; it is superfluous. If it contains more than is contained in the Koran, then it is wrong. Then it has to be destroyed immediately. Either way it has to be destroyed. If it contains the same as the Koran, then it is superfluous. Why manage such a big library unnecessarily? The Koran is enough. And if you say that it contains many more things than the Koran, then those things are bound to be wrong, because the Koran is the truth.”
Holding the Koran in one hand, he started the fire with the other hand – in the name of the Koran. Mohammed must have cried and wept that day in heaven, because in his name, the library was being burnt. This is the first type of religion. Always remain alert, because this stubborn man exists in everybody.
I was reading just the other night….
Two old codgers had equal reputations for being stubborn. When they encountered each other in situations where one had to give in, a third party usually had to settle the issue. One day the old fellows, each driving a large load of hay, met on a narrow lane. Both were determined not to give an inch. Finally one said to the other, “I am prepared to stay here as long as you want to wait.”
He took out his newspaper and began to read. The other filled his pipe and smoked contentedly. After half an hour of silence he leaned forward and called out to his neighbor, “Would you mind letting me read the paper when you’re through?”
This stubborn man exists in everybody, and this is the lowest type of man. It exists in Hindus, in Jainas, it exists in Mohammedans, in Christians, Buddhists– it exists in everybody. And everybody has to be aware not to get caught. Only then can you rise to higher sorts of religion.