I am not against science – my approach is basically scientific. But science has limitations, and I don’t stop where science stops; I go on, I go beyond. Use science, but don’t be used by it. It is good to have great technology; certainly it helps man to get rid of stupid work, certainly it helps man to get rid of many kinds of slavery. Technology can help man and animals both. Animals are also tortured; they are suffering very much because we are using them. Machines can replace them, machines can do all the work. Man and animals can both be free.
And I would like a humanity which is totally free from work, because in that state you will start growing – in aesthetic sense, sensitivity, relaxation, meditation. You will become more artistic and you will become more spiritual because you will have time and energy available.
I am not against science, I am not anti-science at all. I would like the world to have more and more of science, so that man can become available for something higher, for something which a poor man cannot afford.
Religion is the ultimate in luxury. The poor man has to think about bread and butter – he cannot even manage that. He has to think about a shelter, clothes, children, medicine, and he cannot manage these small things. His whole life is burdened by trivia; he has no space, no time to devote to God. And even if he goes to the temple or to the church, he goes to ask only for material things. His prayer is not true prayer, it is not that of gratitude; it is a demand, a desire. He wants this, he wants that – and we cannot condemn him, he has to be forgiven. The needs are there and he is constantly under a weight. How can he find a few hours just to sit silently, doing nothing? The mind goes on thinking. He has to think about the tomorrow.
Jesus says: Look at the lilies in the field; they toil not, they don’t think of the morrow. And they are far more beautiful than even Solomon, the great king, in all his grandeur, ever was.
True, the lilies toil not and they don’t think of the morrow. But can you say it to a poor man? If he does not think of the morrow, then tomorrow is death. He has to prepare for it; he has to think from where he is going to get his food, where he is going to be employed. He has to think. He has children and a wife, he has an old mother and an old father. He cannot be like the lilies of the field. How can he avoid toil, labor, work? – that will be suicidal.
The lilies are certainly beautiful and I totally agree with Jesus, but Jesus’ statement is not yet applicable to the greater part of humanity. Unless humanity becomes very rich, the statement will remain just theoretical; it will not have any practical use.
I would like the world to be richer than it is. I don’t believe in poverty and I don’t believe that poverty has anything to do with spirituality. Down the ages it has been told that poverty is something spiritual; it was just a consolation.
Just the other day, a French couple wrote a letter to me. They must be new arrivals here, they don’t understand me. They must have come with certain prejudices. They were worried, very much worried. They wrote in the letter that, “We don’t understand a few things. Why does this ashram look luxurious? This is against spirituality. Why do you drive in a beautiful car? This is against spirituality.”