Yakusan had not given a discourse for some time when, one day, the head monk came and said, “The congregation of monks are thinking about your preaching a sermon.”
Yakusan said, “Ring the bell!”
The superior banged away at the bell, but when all the monks gathered, Yakusan went back to his room. The head monk followed him and said, “The master was going to give a talk, and the monks are all ready; why didn’t you say anything to them?”
Yakusan said, “There are sutra priests for the sutras, shastra priests for the shastras; why do you question my goings-on?”
Friends, I have received today from Germany a very scholarly and honest book, written by Peter Priskil; a comparison between me and Jesus.
The man who has written the book is very rare, because he himself is a Christian but without any prejudice. He has been almost a witness while writing the book. He rates me above Jesus – his conclusions on every point are in my favor, against Jesus – and he himself is a Christian.
Such honesty is very rare, almost impossible: to keep aside one’s upbringing, one’s mind, and to say straight out the truth of the matter, risking every ideology that you may have carried with you from childhood.
Even a man like Bertrand Russell wrote that he has denied Christianity, he has come out of the fold of Christianity and he knows in his mind, in his intelligence, that Gautam Buddha is far higher than Jesus Christ – but he cannot write it. Something in his unconscious simply prevents him. He knows it perfectly well – there is no doubt about Gautam Buddha being far superior to Jesus Christ – but he feels helpless, he cannot put it down in writing because then it will become a historical fact that the greatest intellectual of this century has decided not only against Christianity, but against Jesus.
But this man, Peter Priskil, seems to be of a far higher superiority than Bertrand Russell.
In the first place, to praise a living contemporary is very difficult. He is so visible, he is so tangible, his whole life is an open book. As time passes, mythologies grow around the person; his real life disappears and a fictitious life arises – very consoling, very much according to the masses.
It has been practically impossible, in the whole history of man, to praise a contemporary. It is very easy to praise someone who lived two thousand years before, five thousand years before. The man has become a myth.
But Peter Priskil has shown such honesty in comparison that at first I felt perhaps he is not a Christian, because he goes on condemning Jesus when comparing him with me, and goes on praising me.
I liked his tremendous honesty, love of truth, his capacity to put his mind aside – his whole programming of being a Christian. He has not allowed it to come between me and Jesus. His unconscious would have liked to have put Jesus above me. That’s why I say it is a rare phenomenon that he has not listened to the unconscious. He has been perfectly conscious, without any prejudice; he has been absolutely just.
But I want Peter Priskil to know that I don’t like to be compared with anybody.