Religions have made people paranoid about death, that after death…particularly the religions that have been born outside of India. They are not very old, and they don’t have the depth or insight that religions born in India have. Christianity is only two thousand years old, Judaism is only four thousand years old, Mohammedanism is only fourteen centuries old. Compared to Hinduism… One great scholar from this very city, Pune, Lokmanya Tilak, proved – and he has not been contradicted for almost half a century – that Hindu scriptures are at least ninety thousand years old. And his evidence for it is so significant, so factual, so historical, that there is no way to contradict it.
Astrologers say that, ninety thousand years ago, there was a certain constellation of the stars which has never happened again, and that constellation of stars is described in the Rig Veda, the most ancient book on the earth. It is not possible to describe it unless people have observed it, and the description is in such detail… Only now, recently, astrologers have been able to describe it, and they were surprised that the description is exactly the same. Now this is the kind of evidence that you cannot contradict. Perhaps Hinduism is ninety thousand years old.
Jainism has an even longer life, because the first founder of Jainism, Adinatha, is mentioned with great reverence in the Rig Veda. You don’t understand people like Adinatha when they are alive, when they are contemporaries, because they are always ahead of their time – so much ahead that it is their destiny to be misunderstood, condemned. Appreciation is not for them, at least in their lifetime. Perhaps after three hundred years, four hundred years, they may be found right, and the whole mass of humanity may be found wrong.
If Adinatha – belonging to a different religion, founder of a different religion – is so respectfully remembered by the Rig Veda, it can mean only one thing: he was not a contemporary, he had already become a legend. He must have lived at least five hundred years before. Perhaps Jainism is the world’s most ancient religion.
Naturally, these religions have worked in depth on every human problem. All three religions born outside of India – Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism – believe in only one life. That shows they have not explored life in its totality, before birth and after death. Their span is very small – this very life. There is a frame to their vision; they are looking from a window.
It is only recently that a few painters have started painting, and they don’t put any frame on it. First, they were thought mad – there have never been any paintings without a frame. But their argument is immensely valid, meaningful. They say, “Life has no frame; it goes on and on. How can we put a frame on our paintings? They represent life, they represent reality.”
But the religions who have looked only at this life are very shallow, and for them death is a tremendous fear, for the simple reason that, with death, everything ends. After death there is only the judgment day.
Nobody from these religions has ever inquired about what was before life. Has life come out of nothingness? It is not possible. Before life… There have been lives from the very beginning – if there was any beginning – otherwise, always. And after death nothing ends; the caravan of life continues – in different forms, in different bodies – until it reaches to the ocean, until it comes to the understanding of universal existence.