It was such a shock to the six thousand leaders of the movement who had come from all over the world, they could not believe it. They had prepared this man, they had fought for this man in the courts, they had done everything that was possible to give him the best education. He never gave an indication that he was unwilling. And at the last moment, when he stood up, he declared, “I dissolve the organization: The Star of the East. I am not the world teacher.” It was a reaction. You cannot force anybody into paradise. A forced paradise will become hell, because the basic element of freedom is missing.
Gautam Buddha’s third body has been hovering around the world to find someone to become a vehicle, so that whatever he said twenty-five centuries ago can be updated, resurrected, made fit for the modern man – for the new man who is going to be born. In twenty-five centuries so much dust has gathered that unless something absolutely fresh begins…
There are millions of Buddhists, there are thousands of great Buddhist monks; it looks simply absurd that he should not choose a vehicle from these people. It will be just natural and logical to choose a Dalai Lama or a great Buddhist monk, learned.
But you have to remember – that is one of my basic emphases – that these people cannot be chosen, because they are still hanging onto the Buddha that was twenty-five centuries ago. To choose them as vehicles is just meaningless; they will be repeating the same.
I love Gautam Buddha as I have not loved any other master, but my love is not blind. I have criticized him as severely as possible. I have praised him when I have found him right – right for today, right for tomorrow, right for the new humanity to come. And I have criticized him severely whenever I have found that he is twenty-five centuries old, still carrying conditionings, rotten ideas which are of no use to the new man, but will be a great hindrance.
Govind Siddharth must have been puzzled seeing what he has seen, because I would appear to be the last man that Gautam Buddha would choose to be a vehicle. But this is the beauty of Gautam Buddha: he understands that the message has to be for the present and for the future, that he needs an absolutely fresh being – unattached to any old tradition, his tradition included – a man absolutely untraditional, unorthodox. A man of today, as fresh as today’s rose – even if the man goes many times against the teachings of the old Buddha.
I was not going to declare it for the simple reason that then it would become difficult for me to criticize the old man. So I was keeping completely aloof, so that my freedom and my independence are not in any way curtailed.
I have my own message. If Gautam Buddha finds that my message has the essentials of his message too, then it is his choice. It is not a burden on me. I will go on criticizing him whenever I find anything that is not right for human growth in the future.
But Govind Siddharth’s difficulty was that he could not keep it a secret. One of the most difficult things in the world is to keep a secret – and such a secret!