Chapter 5: An Alive Buddhafield,

Question 3



Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Kabir                The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty



Third question

Question 3



RELIGION CANNOT BE TAUGHT to children or to grown-ups. It cannot even be taught to grown-ups, so how can it be taught to children? Religion as such cannot be taught: religion can only be caught. Maria, if you live a religious life... and by 'religious life' I don't mean the life of a Christian or a Hindu; by 'religious life' I mean a life full of love, prayer, celebration, joy, cheerfulness, gratitude. If you live a religious life, the children are bound to catch it. Teaching is needed because you don't live a religious life, so you tell them theories. Those theories are not going to help at all. When a child is thirsty, don't talk about H2O -- give him water. He needs water! Don't tell him, "H20 is the formula which contains water, which contains all the oceans -- don t be worried. Just remember H20 is equivalent to water."

But the child will say, "How can I drink H20?"

And then the ridiculous thing happens: the child will think if you repeat H20, H20, H20, H20, then maybe someday, by repeating it constantly, intensely, chanting it again and again, using it as a mantra, the miracle will happen....

People are chanting "Rama, Rama, Rama," "Ave Maria," "Jesus," "Allah" -- a thousand and one formulas. You can go on chanting... they are all H20, H20, H20. You are simply wasting your time -- not only wasting your time, you are destroying your intelligence too.

The man who gets into such a repetitive routine becomes stupid. He loses the sharpness of his intelligence. What are you going to teach to the children? What is religion after all? Is there some way to teach it? Yes, you can teach Christianity, because Christianity is a doctrine; and you can teach Buddhism because Buddhism is a doctrine. A doctrine can be taught, but religion has nothing to do with doctrine -- religion is not a doctrine: it is an experience.

Maria, you cannot teach it, but you can create the context, you can live in such a way that the child slowly slowly imbibes the spirit. And children are very vulnerable, very flexible, and very attentive too! And they are always ready to learn. If something of immense beauty is felt by them, they Learn it, they drink it, they digest it.

But you teach them stupid doctrines. For example, that Christ was born of a virgin mother -- now the child will laugh at you, because now children know much more than you think.

A small boy gave the following summary of his Sunday school lesson:

"There were these Jews who had broken out of a prison camp in Egypt. They ran and ran until they came to a wide lake. The prison guards were closing in so the Jews jumped into the water and swam out to some boats that were waiting for them. The guards got in submarines and tried to torpedo the boats, but the Jews set off depth charges and blew up all the submarines and made it safe to the other side. Everybody called the Admiral by his first name, Moses."

The boy's father asked, "Son are you certain that is what your teacher told you?"

"Dad," responded the boy, "if you can't believe my story, you would never believe the one the teacher told."

Now, telling children stupid stories you are not helping the to become religious; on the contrary, you are helping them to become anti-religious. When they grow up they will know that all those religious doctrines were fairy-tales.

Your God. your Jesus Christ, all will turn into Santa Claus later on in the child's mind -- deceptions, fables, to keep children occupied. And once the children know that what you have been telling them as absolute truth is just lies and nothing else, you have destroyed something very valuable in their being. They will never become interested in religion at all.

My own observation is that the world is becoming more and more irreligious because of religious teaching. No child should be taught any religious doctrine.

Yes, when you are praying, let the child be present there. When you are dancing, let the child be present there. And the child will soon join you -- how can the child resist joining a dance? Let the child know that life has grace in it; let the child know that life is not only suffering but much ecstasy too. Let the child know that laughter is good, divine, that love is good, godly.

And these things are not to be taught: they have to be imbibed by the child. You have to create the vibe. And then sooner or later the child will start becoming aware of many more things which cannot be seen just by the physical eyes. Because you will have given him more sensitivity. Otherwise you can go on teaching him, and nobody even remembers. How much do you remember that was taught to you? Nobody even remembers; everything is thrown in the garbage.

Three Italians were driving fast on the expressway when their car collided with a truck and they were instantly killed. Finding themselves at heaven's door, they knocked and God answered. "What do you want?" God asked.

"We want to come in," they replied.

God said, "Before you can enter you must answer a question." He pointed to one Italian and said, "You, Vito, tell me, what is Easter about?"

Vito paused, then with an Italian accent answered, "Thatsa when there are lotsa parades alla over America! Fireworks are shot at night and the people go ona picnics. Itsa celebrated in July."

"Sorry, Vito," God said, "but you must go to hell."

Pointing at Pietro, God said, "You, Pietro, tell me what Easter is about?"

Pietro smiled and replied, "I know, God, thatsa when some time ina November the family gathers together and eatsa turkey, pumpkin pie, potatoes...."

"Sorry, Pietro," God said, "you must go to hell."

Looking at Giuseppe, God said, "You, Giuseppe, you have been an altar boy for ten years. You go to church every Sunday. You tell me what Easter is about."

Giuseppe replied, "Thatsa when the people who did not like your poor son and what he said hung him upa on a cross. For three hours your son he hang there before he died. Thena his mother and friends, they take him down from the cross, wrap his body up and put the body in a cave and they roll a huge stone in front of the cave. For three days your son was in the cave and on the third day he wakes up from the dead, rolls back the stone, goes out of the cave. Hea no seea his shadow, so he goes back in for sixa more months."

You can go on teaching... nobody is listening. Children are helpless; they have to go to the Sunday school, so they go. They have to listen, so they listen -- but they are not there. And later on they say and they know that all that was just nonsense. They may not say, but they know certainly that that was all nonsense.

Maria, this is not the way to help the world become more religious. This is the way we have tried for centuries -- and we have failed. Instead of the earth becoming more religious, it has become more and more irreligious every day. As the teaching has spread, as there have been more and more missionaries and more and more teachers and more and more people indoctrinating others, the world has turned more and more irreligious -- not only irreligious but anti-religious too.

It is time to understand that something IS basically wrong. This is not the way to teach religion; religion can only be caught and not taught. Yes, it happens with a Jesus, because Jesus creates the space where it can happen.

A disciple once asked Jesus, "What is prayer?"

Do you know what he did? He simply fell on his knees and started praying; tears started rolling down his cheeks. This is creating a space. Now he is creating PRAYER itself! What is the need to say anything?

Seeing it, the disciple fell on his knees -- for the first time he felt the tremendous beauty of surrender, and a great joy in feeling grateful to God. Tears started flowing down his cheeks too. They were both crying -- in joy, in gratitude.

Finally, Jesus asked him, "Now do you know what prayer is."

And he nodded; he said, "Yes, Master. Now I know what prayer is."

This is the way to teach. Not giving theoretical answers, not giving absurd, outdated, metaphysical doctrines, which may have looked relevant one day, but now they look simply stupid. Now say to a child that God created the world just four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ, and the child will smile at you. And the child knows that "Either you are befooling me, or you are in utter ignorance."

THE WORLD HAS EXISTED for millions of years. In fact. there has never been a beginning. God is not the creator in reality but the creativity. To say to a child that God finished the world in six days and then rested on the seventh day because he was tired -- now, that means that since then he has not bothered about us at all.

A man went to his tailor and asked him, "How long is it going to take for my suit to be ready? You have been promising it already for six weeks, and you say again and again, 'Come again, come again...' And do you know? -- God created the world in only six days? And in six weeks you have not been able to even create my suit."

And do you know what the tailor said? The tailor said, "Yes, I know -- and look at the world, then look at my suit, and you will see the difference. The world is in a mess. This is what happens when you create something in six days."

God is still creating. In fact, to think of God as a separate person from existence is not experiential. Those who have experienced, they say God is the very creativity of existence -- he is not a creator. Existence creates itself; it is a self-creating process. And it is unending and eternal.

And how are you going to describe God? -- a very very old man with a long white beard, sitting on a throne up in the heaven. And do you know what ideas come to children's minds? You will be surprised.

Carl Gustav Jung in his memoirs writes... he was the son of a clergyman, so he used to listen to the sermons about God sitting on the throne and watching everybody from there. And Jung says, "The idea that always came to my mind was: if he starts urinating, then what will happen? Sitting on top... and sometimes he must feel like pissing, then what?"

Children are children! When you talk to children, be very alert. They have their own ideas... and he would start giggling at the whole idea, because the father knew nothing about it.

One day, the father asked, "Why do you giggle whenever talk about God sitting on the throne?" So he told the father. The father said, "Shut up! Never think such things!"

And Jung said, "This is nothing -- I think even worse things." And Jung relates that that idea persisted, persisted.... Even when he became older, once in a while whenever he would see in a church a picture of God up there, immediately the idea would come.

Your teachings cannot be of any help -- only your life. Live! If you really love your children, live in such a way that they start feeling that there ARE things which are not visible but still they are. You need not convince them. They don't ask for proofs, they don't understand proofs. They are not asking for arguments -- they are asking for existential experiences.

And they are always ready to go on any adventure -- more ready than you. You may be afraid for safety, security, and a thousand and one things -- children are never afraid. Children are more fearless than you. They can have a more immediate contact with God than you can ever have.

But we give them so many rotten theories, and in the name of religion, too, we go on teaching them a kind of ambitiousness, competitiveness: "Be better than others! Be more religious than others! Be holier than others! Be purer than others, more virtuous, more righteous! Then God will reward you. And if you are not, you will be punished in hell."

This is psychological conditioning, making them afraid and making them greedy -- and you call this religion? To make a person fearful is religion? Religion is when a person becomes fearless. To make a person greedy for rewards in the other life is religion? Religion is when there is no greed.

And you make them competitive: "Compete with others! Be more virtuous, more saintly. Look at other boys, how well-behaved they are and how religious they are!" You are creating in their mind a subtle ego, a pious ego, so when the boy goes to the church he feels holier than everybody else. He looks all around -- he knows he is higher. He has risen on the ladder; soon the paradise will be his.

This is poisoning your children with competitiveness. This competitiveness is there in the marketplace, it is in the monastery too. In the marketplace it can be forgiven, but not in the monastery. When people are rushing for money, it's okay, understandable, that they will be competitive. But for virtue too, the same rush?

And once the goal becomes too important, then means lose all importance. When the end becomes all-important, then any means will do, fair or foul, but one has to attain to the end.

This is not creating religiousness. A religious mind is non-competitive, utterly unambitious. He has nowhere to go -- no hell to fear, no heaven to attain. He is RIGHT now in God, in THIS very moment. His this moment is all and all. And he never compares himself with anybody else. Your saints go on comparing: Who is higher? Who is a bigger saint? And all these so-called saints are just stupid children, still thinking in terms of what they have learnt in their schools, still not out of their teens. I have heard:

There was a deaf and dumb couple who had just got married and were on their honeymoon. They took off their clothes to have some fun when the wife signalled in sign language, "Did you bring the safes?"

"Oh no," replied the man in sign language, "I forgot."

And she said, using her fingers, "You will have to get dressed and get some because I am not going to do it without safes."

"But I am deaf and dumb," cried the man. "How am I gonna get the man at the drugstore to understand what I want?"

"Oh, that's easy," replied the wife. "You just go to the counter, lay down a ten dollar bill, take your prick out and lay it on the counter and the man will know what you want." The man went out and came back a half an hour later looking very sheepish.

"Well, did you get them, did you get the safes?" asked the expectant wife.

The man just hung his head and said no.

"Well, did you do what I said?" asked the now frustrated wife.

"Yes," he replied.

"So, what happened?"

"Well, I went to the counter and put down the ten dollars. Then I pulled out my prick and put it on the counter. Then the man behind the counter put ten dollars on the counter and pulled out his prick and put it on the counter."

"So, what happened?" asked the curious wife.

"Well," replied the husband, "his was bigger so he took all the money!"

Competition, competition, competition... everywhere competition. And this story is not just a story: if you ask Sigmund Freud he will say exactly this that that is from where Competition arises. Small boys become very much worried about their genital organs: "Who has the bigger one?"

All competition is rooted there, originates there! And then it spreads all over your life. It is sexual basically. Then it takes many forms, many masks and facades: Who has the biggest car? It is nothing but the same story: Whose prick is bigger? Who has the biggest house? It is the same story again. These are different symbols for the same sexual competition.

And who is the greatest saint? -- the story is not different...


Next: Chapter 6: Untimely Sannyasination, Question 1


Energy Enhancement            Enlightened Texts           Kabir           The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty



Chapter 5






Search Search web