I am ready for an open discussion with Rajiv Gandhi anywhere; it would be perfectly good in his parliament. What does he know about religion? And what does he know about politics? And just giving an address saying that all over the country there should be an open discussion – how is it going to happen? Who is going to arrange it? Let it begin from the parliament – I am ready. If Rajiv Gandhi has guts, then I am in favor – religion should interfere with politics! And by religion, I don’t mean Hinduism or Buddhism or Christianity; by religion I mean religious values – truth, sincerity, honesty, compassion.
If these values cannot interfere with the politicians, then politics will go from bad to worse – it is already in the gutters. If anybody can pull it out of the gutters and give it a good shower, it cannot be anything other than religious values.
I stand for religiousness. I don’t belong to any organized religion, and I will not say that organized religion should interfere with politics because organized religion itself is politics.
Religiousness is always individual. And whenever there is a religious person, he should be heard by all the politicians because although they may have been able to get votes from the ignorant masses, that does not make them wise.
Even if the whole world votes for you, you cannot become a Gautam Buddha; getting votes does not transform your consciousness. A Gautam Buddha should be heard….
When I was seeing the address of Rajiv Gandhi, I remembered a story about Gautam Buddha.
Buddha was entering into the kingdom of Vaishali and the prime minister told the king, “It will be absolutely appropriate that you should receive Gautam Buddha when he enters the boundaries of our empire.”
The king was a young man, arrogant…He said, “What do you mean? He is just a beggar and I am an emperor? If he wants to see me, he can make an appointment. But why I should go to receive him…who is he?”
The prime minister was very old. He had been the prime minister for the king’s father. The father had died and he had brought up the child and crowned him as a king.
Listening to his arrogant and egoistic attitude he said, “Now you are mature enough and you can make decisions on your own. Please retire me, accept my resignation; I cannot work under you anymore. I have fulfilled my duty to your father. I had promised that until you become king I would not leave my post. That promise is fulfilled.”
But the king became worried because the prime minister was really a very wise man, and to find a substitute would not be easy – and he has loved him almost like a father. So he said, “Just because I am not going to receive that beggar….”
The prime minister said, “Don’t insult me any more.” He said, “I am not insulting you.”