The pope said, “It is a question of God’s prestige! In the Bible it says that the sun goes round the earth, and if you contradict it, you are telling us that God and God’s son are not omniscient: they don’t know the future, what is going to happen, they don’t even know what is already happening. And God made the earth and God made the sun – and he does not know. You will spoil our whole religion.”
Now, religion is not at all concerned with whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth…or both go anywhere! What concern is it for the religious? – let them go! But the problem is omniscience: the all-knowing God becomes fallible.
Galileo said, “I will change it without making any difficulty – but one thing I want you to know: whether I change it or not, the earth will still continue to go around the sun. It is not in my hands. What can I do? I can change it in my book, but in the footnote I will make it clear that I cannot help it; it is simply beyond my capacity. I can write anything you want me to write, but in the footnote am I allowed to state the fact?”
And in fact in his book he changed the statement, but in the footnote he said, “Whatever I say, don’t be bothered. It does not make any difference: the earth still continues to go around the sun. They don’t listen to me, what can I do?”
In Jainism Mahavira is number one…because Jainism does not believe in any God so naturally the number two becomes number one. In Christianity, Jesus is only number two. In Jainism, because there is no God, Mahavira is number one – so he has the highest position and he says that the moon is the place where virtuous people go. This means that up to now only one or two Americans have been virtuous!
For Mahavira it was good to say that the moon is paradise: it looks like paradise, so beautiful…and nobody could criticize him because nobody had gone there. But now the situation is different. Two virtuous people have visited the moon and they have not found anyone there, not even Mahavira. It is just absolute desert, unlivable, because the oxygen is eight times less than on the earth so you cannot survive; you have to continuously keep yourself going with artificial oxygen.
You cannot grow anything because there are no rains; the earth is absolutely dry. You cannot dig a well; there has never been any water. And because there is no water, that’s why there are no clouds. For the clouds to form, water is needed so that in the hot sun the water evaporates and becomes clouds. And when it becomes cool the vapor again turns into water and rains. There is no water; hence there is no possibility of clouds, no rain, and nothing grows on the whole moon. The moon has never known a single roseflower. But now Jainism and its followers are in difficulty….
I was traveling in Gujarat and a Jaina monk was collecting millions of dollars to create a scientific lab to prove that all these people, Russians and Americans, are deceiving the world. They have not reached the moon; all that they are sending are simply photographic tricks.