The first question:
Catholicism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, which are the most “religious” of religions, seem most concerned about purity, cleanliness and sexual abstinence. Yet, they preside over the most unhygienic, malnourished and miserable peoples of the earth. Is there a connection?
Devaraj, there is certainly and absolutely a tremendous connection.
Our life grows around the center of our vision, of our philosophy; we start looking at things according to a certain perspective. Once that perspective becomes a settled thing, our reality shrinks. Then the whole of reality is no longer available to us; only that part of reality remains available which fits with our prejudices, our ideologies, our philosophies, our religions.
Almost everybody on the earth is living a partial life; nobody is living a whole life, hence the earth is not holy. The so-called religions, all of them, in different ways, have caused a certain blindness. People see only that which is allowed by their minds to reach their consciousness. It is one of the established scientific facts now that only two percent of reality reaches through our senses to our consciousness. That two percent reality, against ninety-eight percent, is nothing. And we think that two percent as if this is the whole of life. Things go upside-down – life becomes a chaos.
Buddhism has chosen the color yellow for the bhikkhus – for the Buddhist monks and nuns – and you will be surprised. Why have they chosen the color yellow? They have chosen the color yellow to represent death – yellow is the color of death. When a leaf dies, it becomes yellow; before falling to the ground, to its grave, it becomes yellow. When a person dies he starts becoming yellow. As you become older you start losing your redness, your aliveness, you start becoming pale.
Yellow is the color of death. Buddhism’s whole conclusion is that life is not worth living. The only purpose that life can be put to is: How to renounce it? How to get out of it? All the three religions born in India – Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism – they talk about the wheel of life and death. Existence is looked as a wheel of life and death, and unless you drop out of this wheel you will go on moving in circles. All these three religions have made the goal of their search only one single thing: How not to be born again.