By the way, I have to remind you of Gautam Buddha’s prophecy twenty-five centuries ago: “When I come again I will not be able to be born through a woman’s womb. I will have to take shelter in a man of similar consciousness and the same height and the same open sky. I will be called ‘The Friend.’”
A tremendous freedom is implied in the word. He does not want to be anybody’s guru, he simply wants to be a friend. He has something to share, with no conditions attached to the sharing.
This also will help you, because a few sannyasins have been confused how they will make the difference between the ancient Gautam Buddha and me. Gautam Buddha’s prophecy helps to clarify the confusion.
Although he has taken shelter in me, I will not be called Gautam the Buddha. I will love to be called according to his prophecy: Maitreya the Buddha. Maitreya means the friend. That will keep the distinction. There will not be any confusion.
As far as I am concerned, I have always been against any organized religion. My love, my longing is to create as many individuals in the world as possible, utterly independent, in absolute freedom of their soul, no fetters of Christianity or Hinduism or Mohammedanism. No scriptures, no teachings…no discipline except a self-awareness, a flame burning in your very soul, making you aware and alert and a witness.
There is a small community of Buddhists in Maharashtra. They are Buddhists newly converted by Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar. These are the untouchables whom Hindus have been exploiting for centuries, humiliating them utterly disgracefully. These are the most oppressed, exploited, humiliated human beings upon the earth.
But Babasaheb Ambedkar could not convert all the untouchables, who are one-fourth of the Hindu fold. He himself was not a meditator. His effort to convert the untouchables into Buddhists was in order to take them out of the Hindu fold, so they can gain their dignity as human beings. This was a political step, a social revolution, but it has nothing to do with spirituality.
I have received a message from that small community that Doctor Ambedkar converted, hoping that perhaps I will give them an organized religion. I am sorry to say, the very word organization is irreligious.
I do not teach religion, I teach religiousness – a quality, not a membership of any church but a quality that transforms your being, brings the flowering of your potentiality.
Those Buddhists who have been left in a kind of darkness and in difficulties, I am available to help them not to be Buddhists but to be buddhas. Less than that is below my comprehension. I want a world full of buddhas, absolutely free to fly in the open sky.