There are six great religions in the world. They can be divided into two categories: one consists of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; they believe in only one life. You are just between birth and death. There is nothing beyond birth and death – life is all. Although they believe in heaven and hell and God, they are the earnings from one life, a single life. The other category consists of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. They believe in the theory of reincarnation. One is born again and again, eternally; unless one becomes enlightened, and then the wheel stops.
That was what my grandfather was asking while he was dying, but I was not aware of the whole significance of it…although I repeated the bardo just like a machine, without even understanding what I was saying or doing. Now I can understand the poor man’s concern. You can call it “the ultimate concern.” If it becomes diseased, as it has in the East, then it is an obsession, then I condemn it. Then it is more of a disease; it is not something to be praised but really condemned.
Obsession is a psychological way of condemning something, hence I have used the word. As far as the masses in the East are concerned, it has been a disease for thousands of years. It has stopped them from being rich, prosperous and affluent, because their whole concern was how to stop the wheel. Who then is going to grease it and who is going to run it smoothly?
Of course I need my sannyasins to keep the wheels of the Rolls rolling. Just a little noise and they are in trouble…even a sweet noise. For two days the Rolls was making a little noise – it happens once in a while – very sweet, like a small bird singing in the trees. But it should not be so, a Rolls is not supposed to be a bird. And where is the noise coming from? From the steering wheel. I cannot tolerate it. As you know, I am not an intolerant man, but a new Rolls Royce starting to sing? – and that too in the steering wheel.
In fact, I don’t know anything about what is under the bonnet. I have never looked and I don’t ever want to. That is not my business. But I must say the noise is sweet, just like a very tiny bird whistling; but it has to be stopped. A Rolls Royce is not meant to whistle, sweetly or not. And what are the guys doing? Their whole function is – and their meditation too – just to keep the Rolls in perfect working order. Even if the other two guys, Rolls and Royce, were to be born again, they would be jealous because we have been trying to improve on what they have done. Of course the Rolls is the best car in the world, but it is not unimprovable. It can be, and should be, improved…and I don’t want its wheels to be stopped.