Hinduism got spoiled by Hindus themselves; otherwise it was a beautiful religion, very natural, very simple, very innocent. But it became more and more complicated. These three religions have been fighting for twenty-five centuries, arguing, writing treatises against each other. Those treatises have become more and more complicated – to such a point that even to understand them has become a difficult expertise.
There are treatises which scholars have been trying for years to translate into English, but have not been able to. Because of the complexities of ideas, language, its nuances, it is difficult to be authentic to the original and to translate it; the translation looks very poor.
Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, Sikhism, all are later additions to human consciousness – after Buddha. In fact Buddha should be the demarcation line, not Jesus. We say, “Before Jesus Christ, after Jesus Christ.” Jesus has become the demarcation line dividing history, but that credit should go to Gautam Buddha, who came five centuries before Jesus and really divided human consciousness and its growth.
Jesus himself had traveled to India while he was young. The Bible has no account of him between the age of thirteen to thirty; the Bible has no account of where Jesus had been. This looks strange – a small life – he lived only thirty-three years – and in those thirty-three years the Bible has accounts of only three years, the last three years. About his earlier life there are only two incidents – minor, meaningless. One was of his birth and the coming of the three wisemen from the East to pay tribute; and second, his getting lost in the temple of Jerusalem, arguing with rabbis. These are the only two incidents. Then from the age of thirteen to thirty, seventeen years, nothing is mentioned – what happened to this man, where he was….
These seventeen years he traveled to Egypt, to India, to Ladakh, to Tibet, and all these places were Buddhist at that time. Buddha had died only five centuries before, and his impact was still very alive. Jesus visited Buddhist monasteries. I have been to a Ladakh monastery which Jesus had visited, and I looked in their records of visitors, which they have kept for two thousand years – I asked them if they had a record of all the visitors and their impressions about the monastery.
It is one of the most beautiful monasteries, and Jesus stayed there for almost six months, studying Buddhism from the monks. There are, in their official record, the impressions of Jesus, his signature, the date. He became immensely influenced by Buddhism, so his celibacy, his ascetic attitude, his praise for poverty, his condemnation for riches, were all borrowed ideas from Gautam Buddha.
Naturally these people followed a certain pattern that Buddha left behind him. They don’t have a woman companion, which would be natural. Hinduism seems to be very natural – even its gods are very natural. There is no desire to be beyond nature; there is only one desire: to be totally natural. But in a way all other religions are reactions, rebellions against Hinduism.