Meditation is the ultimate experience of blissfulness. It cannot be produced by drugs, it cannot be produced by machines; it cannot be produced from the outside.
The communes of Mahavira and Buddha survived even after their lifetimes, but your communes are not surviving in your lifetime although they are self-sufficient.
Does survival of communes depend on social structure, affluence of the society, prevalent religions, or national and international politics? Please comment.
The first thing to understand: Gautam Buddha and Mahavira had no communes. Their disciples were wandering monks; they were not living a commune life in one place, they were always on the move, except for the rainy season. And even in the rainy season they used to stay in different places.
My commune was an alternative society. Gautam Buddha and Mahavira did not provide an alternative society; hence they were not in conflict with the society. On the contrary, they were dependent on the society for food, for clothes, for shelter; their disciples were dependent on the society for everything. They could not be rebellious. How can you be rebellious against a society which gives you food, which gives you clothes, which gives you shelter, which gives you everything that you need? You cannot go against its morality – it may be rotten, but you have to support it. You cannot go against its traditions.
My commune was a totally new experiment. It has never happened before. There is no comparison with the past because my people were not dependent on anybody, and they were against the society, the culture, the civilization, the religion, the politics, the education – everything that constitutes the world. We were fighting an impossible fight – a small group trying to live in a totally different way from the whole of humanity. Mahavira was not against marriage; I am. Mahavira was not respectful towards women; I am. Buddha was as much a male chauvinist as anybody else. For twenty years continually, he refused to initiate any women into Buddhism. He never accepted the idea that they are equal to men. I say they are not only equal but in some respects superior. My commune was a revolt.
Their religions – Gautam Buddha’s and Mahavira’s religions – were simply offshoots of the same civilization, the same society, the same morality, the same superstitions. Yes, they were arguing about invisible things which nobody bothers about – whether God is seven feet high or six feet high is nobody’s business. Whether God has three faces or only one face – it is God’s problem, it is nobody else’s problem. Maybe if he has three faces then God’s tailor might have a problem!
They were disagreeing on many points, but all those points were immaterial, not substantial, not concerned with the life that man is living here and now – about that they were all in absolute agreement.