It is related that a man went to the assembly of the Master Baqi-Billah of Delhi and said, “I have been reading the famous verse of the Master Hafiz, ‘If your teacher bids you stain your prayer carpet with wine, obey him.’ but I have a difficulty.”
Baqi-Billah said, “Dwell apart from me for some time and I shall illustrate the matter for you.”
After a considerable period of time, the disciple received a letter from the sage. It said, “Take all the money you have and give it to the gate-keeper of any brothel.”
The disciple was shocked, and for a time thought that the master must be a fraud. After wrestling with himself for days, however, he went to the nearest house of ill fame and presented the man at the door with all the money which he had.
“For such a sum of money”, said the doorman, “I shall allot you the choicest gem of our collection, an untouched woman.”
As soon as he entered the room, the woman there said, “I have been tricked into being in this house, and am held here by force and threats. If your sense of justice is stronger than your reason for coming here, help me to escape.”
Then the disciple knew the meaning of the poem of Hafiz, “If your teacher bids you stain your prayer carpet with wine, obey him.”
Science is based on doubt: doubt is its method, its climate, its very soul. Science cannot exist without doubt. It is only through questioning, and constant questioning, that science comes to know about the facts of existence. Its world of inquiry is objective.
The object cannot be trusted. The object is dead. You have to penetrate the object with as many questions and doubts as possible; only then will the object reveal its mysteries.
Religion, on the contrary, is trust. Religion’s method is trust. Trust is its climate, its philosophy, its very being, because religion is not concerned with objects but with your own subjectivity. The journey of science is outwards, the journey of religion is inwards. Science means going outward, religion means going inward; their directions are diametrically opposite. Although they are diametrically opposite they are complementary too, as all opposites always are.
There is a harmony between the opposites. The inner and the outer are not enemies, they are in utter coordination. The body and the soul are not enemies, they befriend each other; in fact they cannot exist separately, they can exist only in a togetherness. Man and woman, darkness and light, summer and winter, positive and negative – they are all together, although they are opposites. But they are not enemies, this has to be understood: opposites and yet complementaries…and there is utter harmony in existence.
It is like inhalation and exhalation: you breathe in, you breathe out. When you breathe in it is one process, the breath goes inwards; when you breathe out it is just the opposite process, the breath goes outwards, but it is the same breath. Inhalation and exhalation are two aspects of the same phenomenon, opposites and yet complementary; so are religion and science, so are doubt and trust.
Because it has not been understood in the past a great calamity has happened to humanity, the greatest calamity, I call it – the calamity that has kept religion and science not only separate but inimical. In the past we have not been able to bring a synthesis between science and religion. Because of that incapability the world has become split and the man who is trained in science becomes anti-religious; and vice versa, the person who moves into the world of religion becomes anti-scientific. This need not happen, this should not happen.
If you are really intelligent you will be able to coordinate between these opposites. You will be able to bring a harmony between these two, doubt and trust, and then arises the real total human being.