My thesis is very simply and supported by all the awakened people of the past. Mahavira and all the twenty-four great masters of Jainism were born in royal families. One never asks: Why were all your twenty-four masters born in the richest and the most luxurious atmosphere? Why did a beggar not become a buddha? And why did a man who was starving not become a buddha?
All the Hindu incarnations of God belong to royal families, and Buddha himself…. Not a single poor man has been accepted by Hindus or Jainas or Buddhists as enlightened. This supports my thesis.
I have been saying to you that because Gautam Buddha renounced the world…. First you have to live in the world to be capable of renouncing it. How can you renounce something which you don’t have? You have to be so frustrated, so nauseated with the outside pleasures that they become almost pain, anxiety and anguish. Only then can you turn inward.
But all these buddhas of the past have fallen into the human fallacy: they project their own experience. They thought perhaps a starving person, a person who has never known any pleasure in his life, will also understand them. And the result has been a tremendous calamity. The poor in the East have remained poor, thinking, “What is the point of achieving wealth, what is the point of attaining luxury?” – because they have seen all those great, enlightened people renouncing luxury, so perhaps they are in a better position: they are poor already.
Buddha became a beggar by renouncing his kingdom; but do you think he is the same kind of beggar, can be put in the same category, as any other beggar who has never known anything of delicious food, of a beautiful woman, of a palace, of all the joys that are possible? On the surface they both look the same; both have a begging bowl. But they are not the same – they belong to totally different categories.
I would like you to belong to the category of the buddha.
But…first he was a Zorba, and only then he became a buddha.
The other has never been the experiencer of outside reality. He can only repress his sex; he is not frustrated with it.
Buddha has no need to repress – he has lived it, over-lived it; otherwise, in twenty-nine years one does not renounce the world.
The story is that when he was born all the astrologers of his father’s kingdom were called, because Buddha was the only son and he was born in the king’s old age. He wanted to know exactly what Buddha’s life was going to be; all the astrologers were puzzled, and nobody was ready to say anything. The king was in much difficulty: “Why don’t you say something? Even if it is bad news, at least don’t keep me in confusion. Say it.”