This has been the case up to now. History has moved in circles. It should move in a line. It should be linear, not circular. When it is linear then it cannot be repeated, then you go on and on. But that needs intelligence; to break out of this law of mediocrity you need intelligence to understand how it has been happening up to now.
The East was very rich. Then its Gautam Buddhas, Lao Tzus, Mahaviras, they condemned riches; it became poor, it became dependent on other people. Now it has reached the very depths of poverty.
Talking in India about meditation I have felt as if I am committing a crime. People are hungry and they ask me, “If we do meditation will our financial situation become better?” And that’s what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi goes on telling them. These charlatans have some nerve! Maharishi Mahesh Yogi teaches people that his transcendental meditation will make them prosperous in all possible ways: materially, spiritually, psychologically. Whatever your need is, he has the panacea.
I cannot say that, that meditation will fulfill your physical needs. It is impossible for me to cheat in such a way. So even in India, while I was traveling, I was speaking only to the very rich people. I was condemned as the rich man’s guru. I said, “This is not a condemnation, this is really the fact. I am the rich man’s guru because only the rich man can understand what I am trying to say, to convey.
“The poor man has needs, I know. But what I can offer to him will not meet his needs. I am not for him. Mother Teresa is for him, I am not for him. What can I do if I deal in some higher things? I don’t own a grocery store. I cannot give you anything less than ultimate consciousness. But for that you have to be hungry – and you are not hungry for that. I have something to offer to you; but you are not ready to receive it, so it is not my fault.”
Naturally, people from all over the world started coming to me, but these were all from rich countries, rich cultures, well-educated, very intelligent people, young people. To them I could convey. Something was possible now; they were ready, they were open, they were finished with the marketplace, the pleasures of the body and the pleasures of the mind. They had had enough of it. They were at a point that if something else was not possible then only suicide was the way to get rid of this whole nonsense called life.
Sannyas is possible only when you are ready to commit suicide – only at that critical moment, when nothing else matters.
The old life is finished.
Unless a new life begins – you are not going to continue to live in the old pattern – you will finish yourself.
This is the moment when a man becomes a sannyasin.
Your question is that Rome, its civilization, its great culture, suddenly fell and disappeared, leaving only beautiful ruins. It happened at a time when Christianity was at its peak and Rome had become the citadel of Christianity. Yes, Christianity is responsible for Rome’s fall. You will have to understand a few things.