It is because of this that the Upanishads say: “Annam brahma – food is God.” A tremendously significant statement: food, and God? Made synonymous? Annam brahma. Food is God? What are they saying? These people knew, they knew what they were saying – the taste of food is the taste of godliness. The taste of any joy is the taste of godliness – howsoever far away, howsoever much a reflection.
The moon reflected in the lake is still a reflection of the moon, although you will not find it in the lake. If you jump into the lake you will only disturb the reflection and you will not find the moon there. The reflection is not the moon, yet the reflection reflects the moon. And if you are a little intelligent you will not jump into the lake, you will look up into the sky where the real moon is.
Godliness is reflected when you enjoy food. Godliness is reflected when you enjoy sex. Godliness is reflected in a thousand and one lakes of life. Take the key from the reflection; take the indication, the clue, and start moving to the original.
That’s my fundamental difference. I am not against life or anything that life implies – neither sex nor food, neither the body nor bodily pleasures. I am not averse to comfort, I am not against luxuries either.
Just the other day there was a question. Somebody has asked – he must be a newcomer and an Indian – he has asked, “Are you not a hypocrite? Why do you live in luxury?” He does not know the meaning of the word hypocrite. I may be the only person in the whole world who is not a hypocrite.
A hypocrite is one who says one thing and does another. A hypocrite is one whose inner and outer lives are different – not only different but diametrically opposite. I am not against luxury, so why should I be a hypocrite? I am not against comfort – I am not a masochist, that’s all. I don’t believe in torturing myself or anybody else. I don’t believe in torture.
I would like the whole earth to live in luxury. Certainly, I know that today that is not the case. The whole earth is not even getting the minimum necessities of life. But I am not going to torture myself just because of that, because that is not going to help them either. If there are one thousand people in misery, there will be one thousand and one people in misery – that’s all.
I don’t believe in misery. And I am not living a double life. My life is very simple – simple in the sense that it has a kind of integrity. I am doing what I am saying. I believe in luxury; to me, religion is the highest form of luxury. If I cannot make everybody live in luxury, at least I can manage to live in it myself. Otherwise people will say to me, “Physician, first heal thyself.”
But these so-called godmen all live in luxury and they are all against luxury. These are hypocrites. They talk about poverty and the spirituality of poverty, and they all live in luxury: they are hypocrites.
I hate poverty. I don’t respect poverty, I don’t appreciate poverty. It is out of stupidity that people are poor; it is out of superstitious minds that people are poor. People need not be poor. It is because of thousands of years of teaching that poverty has something spiritual in it, that people are poor.