Friedrich Nietzsche remembers both books with such respect that you would be amazed. Amazed, because this was the man who called himself “anti-christ.” But don’t be amazed, those two books are anti-christ, in fact they are anti-anything that is beautiful: anti-truth, anti-love. It is no coincidence that Nietzsche fell in love with them. Although he never liked Lao Tzu or Buddha, he liked Manu and Krishna. Why?
The question is very significant. He liked Manu because he loved the idea of hierarchy. He was against democracy, freedom, equality; in short he was against all true values. He also loved Vyasa’s book Mahabharata because it contains the concept that only war is beautiful. He once wrote in a letter to his sister, “This very moment I am surrounded by immense beauty. I have never seen such beauty.” One would think that he had entered the garden of Eden, but no, he was watching a military parade. The sun was shining on their naked swords, and the sound which he calls “the most beautiful sound I have ever heard…” was not Beethoven or Mozart, not even Wagner, but the sound of the boots of the marching German soldiers.
Wagner was Nietzsche’s friend, and not only that, but something more: Nietzsche had fallen in love with his friend’s wife. At least he should have thought of the poor man…but no, he thought that neither Beethoven, nor Mozart, nor Wagner, nobody could compare with the beautiful music from the boots of the German soldiers. For him swords in the sun and the sound of the parading army were the very ultimate in beauty.
Great aesthetics! And remember, I am not a man who is against Friedrich Nietzsche as such; I appreciate him whenever he comes close to truth, but truth is my value and my criterion. “Swords in the sun…” and “the sound of the marching boots” – when he goes away from truth, then whatsoever he is, I am going to hit his head with a naked sword. And how beautiful it looks: the naked sword, and the sound of the head of Friedrich Nietzsche being cut off, and the beautiful blood all around…. This is what his disciple, Adolf Hitler, did.
Hitler got Manu’s ideas from Nietzsche. Hitler was not a man who could have found Manu on his own, he was a pygmy. Nietzsche was certainly a genius, but a genius gone astray. He was a man who could have become a buddha, but alas, he died only as a madman.
I was telling you about the Indian obsession, and in that reference remembered Nietzsche. He was the first in the West to recognize the idea of “eternal recurrence”; but he was not honest. He did not say that the idea was borrowed, he pretended to be original. It is so easy to pretend to be original, very easy; it does not need much intelligence. And yet he was a man of genius. He never used his genius to discover anything. He used it to borrow from sources which were not ordinarily known to the world at large. Who knows Manu’s Samhita? – and who cares? Manu wrote it five thousand years ago. And who bothers about Mahabharata? It is such a big book that unless one wants to really go insane one would not read it.