Chapter 8: I say, Rejoice!
The second question
WE HAVE COME TO KNOW THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL RELIGIONS ARE HUMBUG. HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS? ALL PEOPLE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BELIEVE IN SOME SPECIFIC RELIGION. EVERYTHING CAN BE GOOD AS WELL AS BAD. SO HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT OTHER RELIGIONS ARE HUMBUG?
I DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING. I am not a believer at all. I need not believe, I know. All the religions are humbug. This is not my belief, it is simply my experience. I can see it -- they are humbug. The whole of human history proves it.
And the moment you say "all the religions" you have already gone astray because there is only one kind of religiousness. There cannot be many. Just as science is one, the scientific approach is one, so is religion, so is the religious approach.
Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, they all belong to one kind of religiousness. Of course, they speak different languages -- that is another matter. They are bound to speak different languages. Lao Tzu will speak in Chinese, Jesus will speak in Aramaic, Buddha will speak in Pali, and of course they will use the idiom of their day. But that is the difference of expression. And one should not be deceived by expressions, one should not be deceived by words, because religion has nothing to do with the words. In fact, it is because of the curtain of the words that we cannot see. It covers our eyes, it hinders our insight. Religion is a wordless experience. Hence Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism are all false.
Jesus is right, Buddha is right, Krishna is right. But Christianity is not right, cannot be right. In fact, to be a Christian is to settle for something pseudo. You can be a Christ! Then why be a Christian? To be a Christian is just to be a shadow. You can drink from the very source of existence. Then why go on only talking about it, thinking about it?
A Christian is one who talks about truth and knows nothing about it. A Christ is one who knows about it. It is his experience. The Christian has no experience of his own, he is simply repeating words of Christ. And repeating other's words is a stupid activity. This repetition is called "believing." Remember, religion has nothing to do with believing. The whole foundation of religion is seeing, not believing. Remember, only blind people believe in light. Those who have eyes, they don't believe in light, they KNOW! The moment you know something the necessity for belief disappears.
But the world is full of believers. That means the world is full of blind people. And how have you come to a certain belief? Just a coincidence -- that you were born into a certain family and they started imposing their beliefs upon you. You are a Hindu. You have not chosen to be a Hindu, you have been forced to be a Hindu by your parents, by your society. Or you are a Jew... Or you are a Mohammedan... But you have not chosen it, and religion is not so cheap that anybody else can impose it upon you. It has to be one's individual choice.
Religion has to be chosen out of freedom. It is not a conditioning. Belief is a conditioning. Belief means you have been made afraid that if you don't believe you will be punished. Hence, hell. Those who don't believe, for them is hell. And those who believe? -- for them are all the joys of paradise.
It is the same psychology that pervades the schools, the colleges, the universities, the law courts. They all think that if you want people to be a certain way, the only possibility is to create fear and to create greed. And how can you be religious if you are full of fear and greed? -- fear of hell and greed for paradise. That is the trick that has been played upon you. You have been cheated and you have been exploited. And you have only been given words -- words which mean nothing to you.
When Buddha says something it has meaning. When Buddhists repeat it they are repeating like parrots. The parrot can repeat a mantra, there is no difficulty in it, you can teach the parrot. And the same methods have to be applied as are applied to you: if he learns the mantra he gets beautiful food; if he does not learn the mantra then he is punished, he has to starve, he is denied food. He is forced to learn. This is what psychologists call conditioning.
And there are people like B.F. Skinner who say that man can be conditioned for any behavior, just give him enough punishment and enough reward and you can manage, you can change anybody's behavior.
Why you are being good? -- not that you really feel like being good. There is a great fear that if you are not good then you will have to suffer for it later on. The whole of humanity is living in fear and greed -- and you call these religions?
Religions are not possible, only a religiousness is possible.
Arvind P. Shah, you are too much burdened with words.
You say: WE HAVE COME TO KNOW THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL OTHER RELIGIONS ARE HUMBUG.
You have not even listened to me, you have not even been in communion with me. You have come to know... You have heard it from others who may have heard it from somebody else. That you believe. If you had been here for a few days you would have come to know that I don't believe in anything.
I KNOW! I have eyes, I can see! What is the need for believing? Belief is for those who are not courageous enough to open their eyes. Belief is for those whose religion is formal, who have not experienced anything of life, anything of beauty, anything of joy, anything of love, for whom God is a word, life is a word. They live in words.
"Hey, Paolo, how come-a I no see you 'round no more?"
"I gotta new business now, but I am-a no do so good-a!"
"What's your business?"
"I am a pump!"
"What the hell-a is a pump?"
"I gotta these eight-a girls who work-a for me, and every time they go out-a and make fun-a with a guy, I make-a money!"
"You be a dope! You ain't da pump -- you are a pimp!"
"No wonder business is-a no good-a. In the 'Yellow-a Pages' I am-a listed under 'pump'!"
Beware of words. You are listed as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan, as a Christian... YOU are none of these.
Friedrich Nietzsche is right when he says that the first and the last Christian died on the cross twenty centuries ago -- neither before him was there another Christian nor after him. Only Christ is a Christian in the true sense of the word. He lived and experienced, and whatsoever he said was coming from his innermost core. It was not something borrowed. Everything borrowed is ugly. Beliefs are borrowed, hence they are ugly. And when you live according to borrowed beliefs you create chaos in the world. YOU remain unconscious and you go on talking about the Bible and the Veda and the Gita. And you are repeating all these things in your dreams. You have not understood a single word.
One Sunday morning, a drunkard stumbled into a big building not knowing it was a church. When he entered, the ten o'clock mass was in process -- the organ was playing, a choir was singing and the church was very crowded. The priest was standing in front of the people, swaying a pot filled with smoking incense.
Suddenly a shout was heard from the back of the chapel, "Madam! Hey, Madam! Your bag is on fire!"
You are not in your senses! You don't have any awareness. You are sleepwalkers. Almost the whole of humanity suffers from somnambulism, sleepwalking. And in your sleep the priests have caught hold of you. It is only accidental who was close by and who got hold of you.
If a child who is born into a Hindu family is given to a Christian family from the very beginning, he will never come to know that he is a Hindu. Or do you think he will ever come to know that he is a Hindu? -- he will be a Christian.
So what is your religion? Just whatsoever is forced upon you by others is your religion. Religion basically is freedom. But your so-called religions are slaveries, they are humbug. And humanity has suffered much because of this nonsense.
I would like more Buddhas but no more Buddhists -- enough is enough.
An Australian country town had an old nunnery at its center. The town was growing up fast all around it and the nuns would stand at the windows and watch the new multi-story building being erected on the other side of the street.
Around midday, the lunch siren would go, and the laborers with their bronzed sweaty bodies would come down the scaffolding to the ground floor to have their lunch.
The nuns would watch the blokes sit around in a big circle, get out their lunch boxes and thermos flasks and dive into their lunch.
"Sister, sister, did you notice that the gentlemen did not thank the Lord for their food?" said one nun to the other.
The other replied enthusiastically, "Yes, yes," I did! Perhaps we could mention it to Mother Superior."
So off they go upstairs and relate their tale to the Reverend Mother. After a moment of silence, she says, "Bring me a lunch-box tomorrow -- just the kind the gentlemen use!"
The next day, when the siren sounded, Mother Superior picked up the lunch-box and slipped downstairs and across the street. She sat quietly down next to the men who were noisily hopping into their lunches, then she raised her hands suddenly and said, "Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Have you heard of Jesus Christ?"
One of the fellas stopped, pushed back his hat, scratched his head and said, "Hmmm, ah, Christ -- Jesus Christ... Hey Danny, you heard of a Jesus Christ working here? Well, tell him his mum is here with his lunch!"
Jesus Christ... Twenty centuries have passed. Who cares? Who bothers? You have to live your life. You have to be authentic to yourself. You have to discover your individuality. And all these religions are humbug because they hinder discovering, they hinder exploration. They hinder you from knowing the truth. They hinder in every possible way.
They go on stuffing knowledge in your head, and that knowledge only creates stupidity. Pundits are the most stupid people in the world because they are parrots. And there are so many simple people who even start trying to live according to the teachings that have been given to them by others, who start trying to live... they create a mess of their life. Then life becomes unnecessarily repressive because you are not a Mahavira, and you are not a Buddha, and you are not a Krishna.
Just try to be a Krishna. Stand in the street, Arvind P. Shah, playing on a flute, and immediately the police will catch hold of you. You cannot repeat Krishna. You have to be only yourself. Nobody is capable of repeating anybody else. There is no need either. It creates repression. You repress your individuality and you start acting like somebody else, and you are NOT that somebody else so your life becomes a hypocrisy. Hence I call all these religions humbug.
Chandulal got an out-of-town construction job, and asked his guru, Swami Dharamdas Brahmachari to check up on his wife to see that she did not fool around with anybody.
Of course, he argued within himself that his guru Swami Dharamdas Brahmachari is a celibate, so his wife is in the right hands, there is no fear.
If he had asked me I would have said, give the control of your wife to anybody else. Anybody else will be far better than this so-called celibate.
Six months later he returned and found his spouse and his guru in bed doing the very same thing he had tried to prevent. He called his wife every name in the book, and then threatened divorce.
"And as for you, you dirty dog!" Chandulal shouted at his guru, "could not you at least stop while I am talking to you?"
Repression sooner or later explodes. You are sitting on a volcano.
Arvind P. Shah, you say: WE HAVE COME TO KNOW THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL OTHER RELIGIONS ARE HUMBUG.
HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS?
Because I know it.
You ask: ALL PEOPLE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BELIEVE IN SOME SPECIFIC RELIGION.
There is no specific religion. There is only a religiousness. And nobody has the right to believe! Everybody has the right to KNOW.
You say: EVERYTHING CAN BE GOOD AS WELL AS BAD.
No. If you know then the right is right and the wrong is wrong. Then the white is white and black is black. If you don't know, then of course you are in a confusion.
You ask: SO HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT OTHER RELIGIONS ARE HUMBUG?
What can I do? If they are humbug they are humbug. I am simply stating a fact.
To me, it is a truth which has to be said. And the time for it has come.