GOD

These Temples are Inventions of the Clever People to Exploit the Stupid.

THERE IS AN OLD TRADITION IN SOME JAPANESE ZEN TEMPLES THAT IF A WANDERING MONK CAN WIN AN ARGUMENT ABOUT BUDDHISM WITH ONE OF THE RESIDENT MONKS, HE CAN STAY THE NIGHT. IF NOT, HE HAS TO MOVE ON.

Arguments can give you this much – a night’s shelter, but that’s all.

THERE WAS SUCH A TEMPLE IN NORTHERN JAPAN RUN BY TWO BROTHERS. THE ELDER BROTHER WAS VERY LEARNED AND THE YOUNGER BROTHER WAS RATHER STUPID, AND HE HAD ONLY ONE EYE.

Two types of people are needed to run a temple: a learned person and a very stupid one. And this is how all temples are run – two types of people: the learned who have become the priests, and the stupid who follow them. This is how every temple is run. So these stories are not just stories, they are indications to particular facts. If stupid people disappear from the earth there will be no temples. If learned people disappear from the temples there will be no temples. A duality is needed for a temple to exist. That’s why you cannot find God in a temple – because you cannot find him in a duality.

These temples are inventions of the clever people to exploit the stupid. All temples are inventions – clever people exploiting… they have become the priests. Priests are the most clever people, they are the greatest exploiters, and they exploit in such a way that you cannot even revolt against them. They exploit you for your own sake, they exploit you for your own good. Priests are the most clever because they spin theories out of nothing: all the theologies, all that they have created – tremendous! Cleverness is needed to create religious theories. And they go on creating such big edifices that it is almost impossible for an ordinary man to enter those edifices. And they use such jargon, they use such technical terms, that you cannot understand what they are talking about. And when you cannot understand you think they are very profound. Whenever you cannot understand a thing you think it is very profound – ”It is beyond me.”

Remember this: Buddha speaks in a very ordinary language which can be understood by anybody. It is not the language of a priest. Jesus speaks in small parables – any uneducated man can understand it – he never uses any religious jargon. Mahavira talks, gives his teachings, in the language of the most ordinary and common people. Mahavira and Buddha never used Sanskrit, never, because Sanskrit was the language of the priest, the brahmin. Sanskrit is the most difficult language. Priests have made it so difficult – they have polished and polished and polished. The very word sanskrit means polishing, refining. They have refined it to such a pitch that only if you are very very learned can you understand what they are saying, otherwise it is beyond.

Buddha used the language of the people, Pali. Pali was the language of the people, of the villagers. Mahavira used Prakrit. Prakrit is the unrefined form of Sanskrit; Prakrit is the natural form of Sanskrit – no grammar, not much. The scholar has not entered yet, he has not refined the words so they become beyond common people. But the priests have been using Sanskrit, they still use it. Nobody understands Sanskrit now, but they go on using Sanskrit because their whole profession depends on creating a gap, not a bridge – in creating a gap. If the common people cannot understand, only then the priests can survive. If the common people understand what they are saying they are lost, because they are saying nothing.

Once Mulla Nasruddin went to a doctor – and doctors have learned the trick from the priests: they write in Latin and Greek, and they write in such a way that even if they have to read it again it is difficult. Nobody should understand what they are writing. So Mulla Nasruddin went to a doctor and he said, ”Listen, be plain. Just tell me the facts. Don’t use Latin and Greek.” The doctor said, ”If you insist, and if you allow me to be frank, you are not ill at all. You are just plain lazy.” Nasruddin said, ”Okay, thank you. Now write it in Greek and Latin so I can show it to my family.”

The clever have always been exploiting the common people. That’s why Buddha, Jesus and Mahavira were never respected by brahmins, scholars, clever ones, because they were destructive, they were destroying their whole business. If the people understand, then there is no need for the priest. Why? – because the priest is a mediator. He understands the language of God. He understands your language. He translates your language into the language of God. That’s why they say Sanskrit is dev-bhasha, the language of God: ”You don’t know Sanskrit? – I know, so I become the intermediate link, I become the interpreter. You tell me what you want and I will say it in Sanskrit to God, because he understands only Sanskrit.” And of course you have to pay for it.

What is the symbolism of one eye in this story? A stupid person is always one-pointed: he never hesitates, he is always certain. And a learned person is always dual: he hesitates, he continuously divides himself into two. He is always arguing within, a dialogue continues inside; he knows both the sides. A learned man is a duality – two eyes. A stupid man is one-eyed – he is always certain, he has no arguments, he is not divided. That’s why, if you look at a stupid person, a stupid person looks more like a saint than a learned man. If you look at a saint he will have something similar in him also – of the stupid, of the fool. The quality differs, but something is the same; the label differs. The fool is just on the first rung and the saint is on the last rung, but both are at the ends of the ladder. The fool does not know, that’s why he is simple, one-eyed. The saint knows, that’s why he is simple. He is also one-eyed; he calls it the third eye. The two eyes have disappeared into the third. He is also one-eyed – one. He is a unity, and a fool is also a unity. But what is the difference?

Ignorance also has an innocence about it, just like wisdom has an innocence about it. The learned is just in between: he is ignorant and thinks he is wise. This is the division of the learned man: he is ignorant and thinks he is wise. He is neither at this level nor at that, he hangs in between. That’s why he is always in tension. An ignorant man is relaxed, a wise man is relaxed. The ignorant man has not started his travels, he is at home. The wise man has reached the goal, he is at home. The learned is in between, seeking shelter in some monastery – even for one night, it is okay – he is a wanderer.

Ignorance also has an innocence about it, just like wisdom has an innocence about it. The learned is just in between: he is ignorant and thinks he is wise. This is the division of the learned man: he is ignorant and thinks he is wise. He is neither at this level nor at that, he hangs in between. That’s why he is always in tension. An ignorant man is relaxed, a wise man is relaxed. The ignorant man has not started his travels, he is at home. The wise man has reached the goal, he is at home. The learned is in between, seeking shelter in some monastery – even for one night, it is okay – he is a wanderer.

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