What is that man doing that attracts the crowd? He is doing something that the crowd cannot do. He is proving mind over body, he is proving spirit over nature. Torturing his body he is proving that he is not the body, it does not affect him. By fasting, not sleeping or standing for days, he is proving that what you cannot do he can do; he is superior to you. You can also do what he is doing, you just have to be a little stupid, you just have to be a little suicidal, destructive. All that you need is a certain pleasure in pain and you can become a great spiritual saint.
I have looked at the whole history and found not a single man revolting against this suicidal attitude towards life, this anti-life attitude. Perhaps they were afraid that nobody was going to listen to them, afraid that they would lose their respectability.
I decided in the very beginning days of my life that there is one thing I have to be aware of, and that is not to be bothered about respectability. Then things are very simple. Then I can do what is natural and what is healthy. And then I can manage a bridge between matter and spirit, between this world and that world.
To me, to live in abundance is the only spiritual thing in the world. Just look at existence and its abundance. What is the need of so many flowers in the world? Just roses would have been enough, but existence is abundant: millions and millions of flowers, millions of birds, millions of animals – everything in abundance. Nature is not ascetic. It is dancing everywhere – in the ocean, in the trees. It is singing everywhere – in the wind passing through the pine trees, in the birds….
What is the need of millions of solar systems, each solar system having millions of stars? There seems to be no need, except that abundance is the very nature of existence, that richness is the very core, that existence does not believe in poverty. Look at nature, look at existence and you will see that what man has done is against it.
My effort is to bring man back to his natural self. I will be condemned, I will be criticized. Every religion, every tradition, every morality, every ethical code is going to condemn me. That does not surprise me! I expect it, because what I am saying and doing is changing the very course of human consciousness.
I don’t think that by torturing yourself you can meditate more easily; on the contrary, if your body is pleasantly at ease you can meditate more easily. I don’t think that when you are fasting you can meditate. You can only think of food and nothing else; you will dream of food and nothing else. But if you are well fed, well nourished, you don’t think of food – there is no need. The body is completely satisfied, it will not create any disturbance. To live pleasurably, to live joyously is not against meditation. It is really the basic need of meditation.
I know many kinds of ascetics but I have never seen any intelligence in them, I have never seen any creativity in them. I have never seen in their eyes a light of the beyond, or in their gestures some message that cannot be said through words. They don’t have anything. They are simply starving – and starving because it fulfills the ego, because the more they starve, the more they torture themselves, more and more people come to worship them.