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Every flower has to die if it is not a plastic flower. Only plastic flowers live for centuries.
All the religions that have lived for centuries are plastic. The real flower may have been with Gautam Buddha, but it died; it had to die – and what remains afterwards is the fragrance. If you have sensitivity enough you can still smell in the air all those people who have blossomed on the earth. They are still your contemporaries.

The person who lives in your time may not be your contemporary, but the person you feel, experience, the person who moves your heart into a dance is a contemporary. To me Buddha is a contemporary, Lao Tzu is a contemporary, Bodhidharma is a contemporary, Zarathustra is a contemporary. I can still taste their experience because it is my own experience too. Rajneeshism is dead. I wanted it to be dead before I drop my body. This has happened for the first time... and I wanted it to happen because I wanted to be certain that only the fragrance remains, not a dead structure, because the fragrance cannot be represented by the priests and the popes, and the fragrance cannot create religions. It may once in a while touch a man and drive him almost crazy with joy....

But Gautam Buddha did not allow the religion to die before his eyes; he forgot that what he is teaching, the priests will distort. They will create a structure which will be absolutely against him. Buddha has said, for example – his last words were, "Don't make any statues of me. I am not a god. And do not worship me, because I do not want you to be reduced into a lower status. You can love me, but you cannot worship me. Love does not need statues and temples." But the day he died just the opposite happened. It is very surprising: he was the only man in history who said, "Don't make my statues" – and in the world there are more statues of Gautam Buddha than anybody else.

(Socrates Poisoned Again)

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