So the real problem is for those who have been living with me, because they have had to drop, chunk by chunk, their minds, their conditionings – themselves. They have to choose continuously every moment between me and themselves: either I exist or they exist; both cannot exist at once. Otherwise, they will be in constant trouble, anxiety. So either they will have to leave me just to protect themselves, or if they are courageous, they will pass through a process which is almost like death, and they will be reborn.
The people who have not come to me are having a very fancy trip, imaginary. Their trust, their love, their commitment is to their own minds. I am only a figment in their minds, not a reality outside, not a reality with which they will have to shatter themselves the way the ocean shatters itself continuously on the rocks. And that will be the only test.
But ordinarily we think it very strange that people who have only heard my voice on the tape or have only seen me on video, have fallen in love. This is one of the reasons why people love dead saints – why they are ready to die for Jesus Christ, not even knowing whether he ever existed or not.
There are people who think that Jesus Christ never existed, that it was a Jewish drama that was played every year – just like, in India, every year we play Rama’s life. Nobody knows whether Rama really existed. All that we know is the drama which we have been playing for five thousand years. Our playing the drama for five thousand years continually has given Rama a certain reality.
And it is easier to devote yourself, dedicate yourself to Rama because Rama is only a figment of your mind. You can shape him; you can make him the way you want. You can interpret according to your own thought processes, and he cannot interfere.
It is a known fact that all the religions that you see in the world were born after their founders were dead. Strange! Then why do you call them “founders”? They never founded anything. They were hunted, tortured – you did everything nasty to them – and when they died, a great religion arose; and great admiration, because now you could manage them. It is all a game of your imagination.
To accept any man who is contemporary with so much love that your commitment becomes total is a superhuman task. But it transforms.
To recognize Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus Christ changes nobody. Half of the population of the world is Christian, but we don’t see anything that can make us feel that Jesus is alive in half of humanity. Millions of churches, millions of priests, but you cannot see in a single priest the glimmer, the shine, the authority that come from one’s own experience. All that they can have is an imaginative dedication.
Gods are made by man. But when somebody is alive, it is very difficult to make him a god because he will continuously disturb your idea of a god.
For example, Jainas think that Mahavira never perspired. Now, I cannot manage that, and I know that neither could Mahavira manage it, because perspiration is a natural process – without perspiration the person will die.