Once, a monk asked Fuketsu, “What is the buddha?”
Fuketsu replied, “The bamboo whips of Mount Jorin.”
Another monk then asked, “What is the buddha?”
Fuketsu answered, “What is not the buddha?”
A third monk said to Fuketsu, “The Western Patriarch came bringing his message; I ask you to tell me it point-blank!”
At this, Fuketsu replied, “When one dog barks at nothing, a thousand monkeys really show their teeth.”
On another occasion a monk asked, “What is the meaning of Daruma’s coming from the West?”
Fuketsu said, “We know all the windings of the mountain stream, but not the mountain itself.”
Friends, today I am going to talk first about religion and the crime that it has committed against humanity, nature, environment, ecology.
Religion’s crimes are many, innumerable, but the worst crime is that it has placed man at the center of existence. It has given the idea to the whole of humanity that the whole existence is for your use: you are God’s greatest creation.
A man-oriented vision of existence is bound to create catastrophes in nature, it is bound to destroy the ecological balance, it is bound to give man the strange idea of an ego.
The Bible says God created man in his own image, and man has believed it. Just look at your face in the mirror: is it God’s face in the mirror?
The truth is that Christianity has been befooling humanity. It is not that God made man in his own image, it is man who has made God in his own image. And all the scriptures of all the religions have given man a strange licentiousness over nature, over animals and birds. That has culminated in destroying many species of animals, birds. It has destroyed millions of trees for no reason. Every second that passes, one football ground is cleaned of all greenery, all trees.
When India became independent, it had thirty-three million hectares of trees. Today it has only eleven million hectares.
This man-centered view begins with Genesis, in the Bible. In Genesis it says:
“Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
This is the ultimate crime that has made man violent against nature, given him the freedom to conquer innocent animals, to destroy them. It has made man barbarous.
Now we are suffering because all those trees have been destroyed and more are being destroyed continuously. There is a certain balance in existence. These trees are your brothers and your sisters, there is no question of dominion. You exhale carbon dioxide, they inhale it. They exhale oxygen, you inhale it. Such a deep relationship…You cannot exist without trees, nor can trees exist without you; your existence is so deeply rooted in each other.
As trees have become less and less, the level of oxygen in the air has gone down and down and down. Now you are living only a fragmentary life. You may not have thought about it….