Hindus brag very much that in the golden old days, people were so rich that locks were never used on the doors. Yes, it is mentioned in the scriptures that locks were not used. But it does not say that people were so rich and there was no stealing around – hence, locks were not used. My conclusion is just the opposite: locks were not invented yet, so how could they use them? Secondly, people were very poor; there was nothing to lock up.
And if somebody says that people were rich and there were no locks and there was no stealing, then they should look again into all the scriptures of the past. Gautam Buddha, every day for forty-two years continually, was teaching that stealing is evil. I wonder whom he was teaching? If there was no stealing happening – even locks were not needed – then he must have been mad, talking to people who have never stolen and who were not going to steal, they were themselves so rich. Then why did he go on, every day?
And it was not only Gautam Buddha; Mahavira went on doing the same, and other scriptures and other masters of the past all insisted that stealing was a sin. That is enough proof that there were thieves all around. So the only possible way to explain why locks were not used is mine: because locks were not invented yet.
Locks are also part of technology. If you go to an aboriginal society living in the forest they don’t use locks, because they cannot create locks and they are not rich enough even to purchase locks from the cities. And for what? – because they don’t have anything in their houses. If they can get one meal a day, that is a great blessing from God. Most of them don’t get even one meal a day.
Technology should not be looked at only negatively. In India, just before this century, nine children used to die out of ten. Today, the situation has reversed: only one child dies out of ten, because of the advancement of medicine. The clothes you are wearing…soon it will be impossible to provide cotton clothes for everybody – and there is no need either: better clothes can be produced by technology. Just as a symbol of my philosophy, I never use anything that is cotton. My clothes are pure productions of technology – one hundred percent polyester.
Technology can create better houses, lighter houses and more beautiful; there is no need to use heavy material, costly material. Technology is bound to create better food, more proportionate, giving you all the vitamins that are needed and giving you a better taste, too – now plants are not so scientific. Any flavor can be given to your food. There is no need for people to eat meat just for taste, because any food can be given the flavor of meat.
Technology has a better side also; but if you drop all modern technology, you will be falling into the dark ages, and it will be the greatest violence on the earth, preached by the man who thought that his philosophy was nonviolent.
But something has to be done. Up to now, technology has been just groping. Now we can give it a direction; and we can drop all those things which are destructive of ecology, harmony, nature, life.
I am all for technology – but a better technology, a more human technology.