I would not like my people to be like Christian missionaries.
I was in an American jail one morning…the jailer must have been a very fanatic Christian, and he came with a Bible, thinking that I am a religious man. And he said, “I would like to pray for you and I would like to present God’s word to you.” And before I could say anything, he started praying for me loudly, with closed eyes: “Jesus loves Bhagwan, Jesus will help Bhagwan. Jesus will save Bhagwan.”
I said, “Wait! You have gone too far!”
He opened his eyes; and he said, “Have I said anything wrong?”
I said, “Everything wrong…because Jesus could not save himself! And you are putting everything wrong: ‘Jesus loves Bhagwan.’ That’s not right. Put it: ‘Bhagwan loves Jesus, and Bhagwan will save Jesus.’”
He said, “I have prayed for many prisoners – what are you saying? You are in jail, you need to be saved.”
I said, “I am not in any difficulty. This whole world is a jail, so what difference does it make whether you are outside or inside? And you don’t understand anything of religiousness – you did not even ask my permission to pray for me.
“A prayer is trespassing my being. And to whom are you praying? I don’t have any god, so all your prayers are just stupid. And I don’t think that Jesus or anybody else can save anybody else. It is enough if you can save yourself. Without asking me you started praying! And who told you that this book is the word of God?”
He said, “It is written in the book itself.”
I said, “But it is written in so many other books too. It is written in the Vedas, and Hindus believe the Vedas are written by God. It is written in the Gita because Hindus believe it is spoken by the perfect incarnation of God himself. Mohammedans believe the Koran is the word of God.
“What criterion have you got to choose which one is right? And I can write a book in which I can say, ‘These are the words spoken by God.’ Just because it’s printed, will you believe it?”
He was silent for a moment, and then he said, “I will think it over and I will come back to you. Because I used to think…I am a missionary and I always have five hundred prisoners in the jail, changing every day. So I have been preaching and helping them becoming real Christians.”
I said, “Are you a real Christian? Was Jesus Christ himself a real Christian? What do you mean by ‘real Christian’? Jesus never behaved like a Christian. He was a very angry man. He teaches to love your enemy – and he curses a fig tree which is out of season. And it is not the fault of fig tree that it has no fruits! And he curses it in a very ugly way because it has not welcomed him and his disciples with fruits.