In Rigveda, human sacrifice was a routine thing. It was called narmedh, killing human beings as a sacrifice before a fictitious God, and ashvamedha, killing horses as a sacrifice to the fictitious God. And you won’t believe it: Hindus continuously struggle for cows not be slaughtered. But in Rigveda there was gomedh, slaughter of the cow as a sacrifice to God.
But God does not eat the meat, the flesh. What was happening to the flesh of men, horses and cows sacrificed? It was distributed as presents of God, as prasad. Do you want to go back to those days?
Your ancient heritage does not believe in the equality of man. For five thousand years it has been torturing the sudras, the untouchables. Your ancient heritage believed in slaves. People were auctioned just like commodities, and particularly women were auctioned in open markets. Do you want this heritage to be continued?
Millions of women have been sacrificed by India in the so-called sati-pratha: dying with your husband in the funeral pyre.
India has never accepted woman as equal to man. The great, the so-called great, self-styled saint, Tulsidas, who is very much worshipped by the Indians – even the villagers – says in his story of Rama that a woman should be beaten often, otherwise you will not be able to control her.
But what is the need to control? And who are you to control? He counts women with the sudras, the untouchables; they should be beaten. He compares women with drums: just as you beat the drums, otherwise there will be no sound, the woman should also be beaten so she remains under control.
I want to ask Rajiv Gandhi: Do you want all this heritage to be preserved?
It is against your constitution, you are talking against your own constitution. The constitution makes it a crime for any woman to be burned alive by the priests and the family on the funeral pyre. It considers it a heinous crime. And the prime minister of India says, “I want my country to rejoice in its heritage.”
Your heritage is the worst and the most rotten heritage one can have.
It is your heritage that millions are starving. By the end of this century you will see half a billion people starving and dying. Only science and technology can help, only birth control methods can help. But you are denying all materialism.
Why is this country so poor? It is so ancient, so intelligent, why is it so poor? The intelligence has been distracted from the right path by the continuous insistence on renouncing the world. And the insistence came from people who were kings, princes, who had lived in luxury and found it a meaningless wastage of life.
All the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas were kings. Gautam Buddha was a prince and was going to succeed his father as a king. Krishna and Rama, the Hindu reincarnations of God, were kings. These people had lived in luxury, they had seen the futility of it, that it does not nourish your inner being. They renounced the world. But because they renounced the world, they started teaching everybody to renounce the world, without looking at the background.