And do you know? Christianity believes that if you commit sins you will suffer in hell forever. That seems such an absurd concept. How many sins can a man commit in one small life? And Christianity believes in only one life. If Hindus were thinking that you will suffer for a long time in hell one could understand the arithmetic because they believe in millions of lives, so you can commit as many sins as you like. Of course, the suffering will be in the same proportion, the punishment will be in the same proportion. But Christianity proposes an eternal hell. And what sins can you commit? You can smoke cigarettes and then in hell you will be thrown in fire and you will smoke forever and forever! Or you can be an alcoholic, but how much can you drink in one small life? Out of seventy years one third goes into sleep; you can’t commit any sin in your sleep unless your dreams are also counted. Another one third goes into the offices, into the factories, into the fields, into the shops…. How much time have you got to commit sins? Just count all the days – you will not find much time. And your sins will be just trivia. Yes, you can fall in love with your neighbor’s wife, but for that you will be suffering for ever and ever? It is utterly unjust, unfair! Maybe three or four years’ imprisonment in hell will do, but eternity? Can you conceive of eternity? It will never end, the suffering will be unending!
This is just to create fear. And people love God out of this fear, they pray out of this fear.
Buddha is against fear; fear is the original sin according to him. He believes in fearlessness – he believes, and he believes rightly; it is his experience. It is my experience too, that true love happens only when fear disappears completely.
A true religion has not happened in the world because we have been trying to create a cheap religion based on fear. True love has not happened in the world. The wife is afraid of the husband, hence she pretends to love; the husband is afraid of the wife, hence he goes on saying, “Darling, I love you!” as many times as possible.
That’s what Dale Carnegie suggests to all the husbands: “Whether you love her or not, that is not the point. Repeat it as many times in the day as possible, as many opportunities as there are. Once or twice from the office phone your wife just to say ‘I love you.’” And this is all out of fear.
Because of fear the world is missing the roses of love. Love can happen – every man is born with infinite capacity for love – but fear cripples everybody, paralyzes everybody.
Buddha says to his bodhisattvas: Go and teach people these few fundamental things. The first thing he says:
with all your heart
stop the stream.
These sayings are his code words; you will have to understand his code words. In those old days things had to be remembered, so only very small sutras, very condensed sutras were given. Each sutra is expressed in a code language; you have to decode it. You have to translate it into contemporary language; otherwise you will miss the significance of it.
Wanting nothing…. How is it possible – wanting nothing? That is the most fundamental truth in Buddha’s teachings. He is not saying don’t want anything, remember; that will be a misunderstanding. He is saying: Wanting nothing with all your heart stop the stream.
By “the stream” he means the mind. He always calls the mind the stream because it goes on flowing; whether you are awake or asleep it goes on flowing. It is the stream of thoughts.