Truth - not a highway but a hill track
GOD IS DEAD, RELIGION IS DEAD; THEN WHAT IS LEFT?
God has never been in the first place. It is the greatest lie that has been told to humanity. When I say God is dead, it simply means the lie is dead, the fiction is dead. And when a lie dies, no corpse is left behind.
So remember it, don't misunderstand the statement that God is dead. It does not mean that he was alive. It does not mean that he was sick, it does not mean that he was on his deathbed, it does not mean that you have to go to the crematorium again. He has never been there. Existence knows nothing of God. It is only the crafty priests who had invented the fiction. With the death of the fiction, the profession of the priests becomes irrelevant.
When I say religion is dead, there is something very significant to be understood. Religion is alive only when it is unorganized, when it is an individual search out of your own freedom; not based on any belief system, but simply based on a deep inquiry - which is man's privilege. That makes a man a man, when he starts looking into what life is all about, who he is. When he turns in to find out the very center and the source of life, of love, of consciousness, religion is alive.
Religion is dead the moment it becomes something collective, organized. When it becomes Christianity it is dead. When it becomes Hinduism it is dead. When it becomes Buddhism it is dead. When it becomes Rajneeshism it is dead.
If you are here as an individual seeker, then there is a beauty. There is no hierarchy, there is no dogma, no creed. You have to find your way yourself. In fact, the very effort of finding the way crystallizes you. To be closer to the truth - the very fact of inquiring into the truth means you have completed almost half the journey.
When religion becomes organized it becomes a catechism. You are handed over a belief system.
You have only to believe, there is no need for you to inquire. You have to believe in Jesus Christ - that's enough. You have to believe in Gautam the Buddha, and that's enough.
Belief is the most dangerous thing against truth, because it prevents you inquiring. It makes you knowledgeable, but it does not make you wise. It can make you a great scholar, a theologian, but deep inside you are full of darkness; you don't know who you are.
Organized religions have been deceiving humanity for thousands of years. But they could do it because you allowed it to be done. Belief is cheap; you don't have to do anything. You don't have to go into the unknown, the mysterious. You have just to cling to your belief system and Jesus will save you, Buddha will save you.
Nobody can save anybody else. That will be against human dignity. If I save you, I am not your friend. I have taken away your birthright - the most important, the most significant glory of your being. I have not allowed you to discover the truth yourself, and I have destroyed you, not saved you.
Truth can be known only as an individual experience. It is just like love. You don't have organizations of love. Just think of organizations of love! - and they say to you, "You have just to believe, you have not to do anything else. The savior will do everything; he will make love on your behalf." But truth is an even higher quality.
And people have been telling you, "We will do it on your behalf - you just have faith in us." That's why religions are called faiths. And every religion is fake, because whatsoever you do, your doubt will remain within. You can repress it as deeply as possible, but the deeper you repress it, the more dangerous it becomes. The result is fanaticism.
All believers who find that there is still some doubt, somewhere, become fanatic. It is a simple psychology. By becoming fanatic they are trying to repress their doubt below their consciousness.
But even if you drive it beyond your consciousness into the unconscious, you are not free of it. In fact, you are more full of it.
All the religions are afraid of reading other religions' books, listening to other religions' teachers, for the simple reason that they all differ in their belief systems - they may create doubt in you. They are so afraid of doubt - but it is within you, and the only way to get rid of it is to know the truth of your own accord.
My truth cannot dispel your darkness. You can believe in me - it is cheap. You can believe and console yourself, and waste your whole life in believing. But you will die as ignorant as you were born.
So when I say religion is dead, I mean religiousness is always alive - that is something individual - but religion is always dead. Religion is an organization; religiousness is a search. I want my people to understand the difference very clearly. Howsoever difficult it may be, the only way to find the truth is individual. There are no superhighways, only small footpaths, and they too are not ready-made, available. You create them as you walk.
You cannot walk in somebody else's footsteps. That is suicidal, because you have a unique individuality, the person you are following has his own unique individuality. His path can never be your path. He can be an inspiration for you, but he cannot be a leader for you. Leaders exist only in politics. The moment leaders start existing in religion, religion is no longer religion. It has become another name for politics.
The most basic thing to recognize is that it is your privilege to find the truth yourself. Only that finding can save you, can release you from all bondage; can make you aware of eternal life, can take you beyond death, can take you into the benediction that existence is.
So when I said the religion is dead, I mean that I don't want you to become a religion. I want you to remain simply seekers, searchers. And it is a great excitement to seek, to search, to find on your own. Small things make you so ecstatic when you are the finder.
For example, what happened to Archimedes? He had not found something great, but he had found something which was not known before. The king of his country had received a beautiful golden crown. He wanted to know whether the crown was solid gold or if there were other metals mixed in it. And the crown was so beautiful he did not want it destroyed to find out. He said to Archimedes, "You are the greatest scientist. You have to find out, without destroying the crown, whether it is solid gold or not."
It was an almost impossible task. But one morning, when he entered his bathroom... his bath was full of water, he entered the bath - and strangely, he found what he was seeking. As he entered the bath, naturally, to make space for him, a lot of water spilled out. He became very intrigued with the phenomenon. He came out, weighed himself, weighed the water, the quantity of water that had gone out - and he figured out the solution. If gold is put in water, if it is pure gold, then a certain quantity of water will come out to make space for it. But if it is not pure gold, then a greater quantity of water will come out, because every metal will bring a different quantity of water out of the tub.
It was such a great excitement - he was naked in his bathroom, but the excitement was such that he forgot. He just rushed out, ran on the streets towards the palace shouting, "Eureka! Eureka! I have found it! I have found it!"
When he reached the palace, a great crowd was following him. "What has happened to the man?
He has gone insane!" He was involved in such experiments that they were always afraid that some day he would go crazy. Now that had happened.
Even the king was suspicious when he looked out of his window - a big crowd, and Archimedes naked, shouting, "Eureka!" Naturally, he thought Archimedes had gone insane, but he called him in and asked, "What have you found? What is the matter? What is so much excitement about?"
Archimedes said, "I have found out something which nobody has known before! Now I can say whether your crown is solid gold or mixed with other metals. I will just have to dip it into water." Not a big discovery....
But when you find the truth of your being, it is the greatest discovery there is. And beliefs prevent you. They say you need not bother; you simply believe, you worship, you pray. Jesus Christ has already found, why should you bother? Gautam Buddha has already found, you can just follow him.
But this is fallacious. For twenty-five centuries millions of people have followed Gautam Buddha, in his footprints; none of them has become another Gautam Buddha. For two thousand years, how many people have been following Jesus Christ? And how many have become a Jesus Christ?
To be a Christian is ugly. To be a Buddhist is ugly. It simply says you are blind; you don't know anything, and you are following somebody because you believe that he knows. In fact, in existence, no individual is repeated again. Existence is very inventive.
It happened that one of Picasso's paintings was purchased by an American for one million dollars.
Naturally, he wanted to know whether it was an authentic Picasso or not. He approached Picasso himself - because that was the only way to find out - and he asked Picasso, "Is this painting authentically yours, or has somebody made a copy of your painting?"
Picasso looked at the painting, and he said, "It is not authentic."
Picasso's girlfriend was amazed by the answer, because Picasso had painted that painting in front of her. She said to Picasso, "This is an inhuman joke! That man has spent one million dollars! He has come from America to France to ask you - and you are lying, because I am an eyewitness. You have painted this painting; this is absolutely authentic!"
Picasso said, "You are not wrong. I have painted it, but still I say it is not authentic."
Now the man who had purchased the painting was absolutely in confusion. The girlfriend was also puzzled. What does Picasso mean? If he says he has painted the painting, and still insists it is not an authentic Picasso, this is a contradiction.
The man said, "This is even more confusing. It was good that it was not authentic; at least things were settled. But now you are saying you have painted it, and still it is not authentic. What do you mean then?"
Picasso said, "It is very simple, there is no contradiction. I have copied it from one of my old paintings. It is not authentic, it is just a copy. I have painted it, but it is not original. Somebody was insisting that he wants a painting, and I was not getting any ideas, so I simply used an old painting of mine and painted - it is a copy. Now it does not matter who copies, Picasso or somebody else: a copy is a copy, it cannot be authentic."
I am telling you this incident to remind you that existence never produces copies. It only produces authentic individuals - never again the same person, never before. You are unique: you have never been in the whole eternity that has passed before you, and you will never be in the coming whole eternity. This uniqueness is something to be proud of.
Your truth has to be discovered only by you.
Yes, the person who has discovered his truth can be a guide, but he can only say how he has discovered his truth. And he can make you alert that "You are not to follow my path." But he can give you tremendous encouragement, that a fellow human being, someone just like you, is capable of finding the truth. Maybe you have to find your path, but his presence is a guarantee, is an encouragement that truth can be found, that it is not something utopian; it is something realistic.
I call this state of affairs religio, the root from where the word "religion" comes. Religio is individual; religion is organized. And the moment you organize the truth, it dies. There are things, values, which cannot be organized at all. They are so delicate that organization is impossible.
And you are asking me: "God is dead, religion is dead; then what is left?"
In fact, because God is not there - which was a fiction covering your eyes; and organized religion is dead - which was sheer stupidity, ignorance - therefore nothing is lost, everything is gained.
You have simply lost layers of fictions from your eyes. Now you can see the real existence as it is.
Everything that is becomes available to you - it was not available to you before because of your lies and fictions and beliefs. So nothing is lost and everything is gained. The whole existence, all its beauty, its tremendous benediction, its infinite bliss - all is available. You had just put thick layers on your eyes which were making you blind.
You have lost your blindness and you have gained your insight: this is a good bargain!
WE DROPPED RED CLOTHES, MALAS, TEMPLES, GACHCHHAMIS, WORSHIP. DID WE FORGET SOMETHING - LIKE DROPPING OUR EGOS?
Just look how easily you can drop red clothes, how easily you can drop your malas, how easily you can drop gachchhamis, because you were never authentically and sincerely in love with them. You pretended, you were hypocrites.
You had pretended you loved your mala, but the moment you found the chance to drop it, you dropped it immediately. And you must be thinking you dropped it because I have said so. But I have been telling you for years continuously to drop the ego - that you don't drop.
Strange... I said only one day, "Drop the malas," and you were so happy and so clapping, rejoicing.
But when I say, "Drop the ego," you don't clap. You know that you are not going to drop it. Ego seems to you to be very precious, and ego is nothing but poison. The mala cannot harm you, red clothes cannot harm you. But the ego is constantly harming you.
The ego means your ambition to be superior to others, to be higher than others, to be bigger than you really are; in every field to be more important, to be somebody who has power over people either through politics or through money. All these are different dimensions of your ego. And if you go on fulfilling these desires you can never come to a state of contentment, fulfillment, because the ego is just like the horizon. It looks so close - as if you just have to walk a little more and you will reach it. But by the time you have reached there, the horizon has also moved away.
The distance between you and the horizon remains always exactly the same, because the horizon does not exist in reality; it only appears to. It is an appearance, because the earth nowhere meets the sky. But because it is round, the fallacy is created: you feel that somewhere, just close by, it is meeting the sky.
The ego is your psychological horizon. You can go on, but you will never come to a point when you can say, "My ego is satisfied." That is not in the nature of the ego, to be satisfied. To remain in discontent is its very nature. I have not seen a single person who can say that his ego is satisfied - and I have known all kinds of people.
In Indore, India, I used to be a guest of one of the richest men of the world - perhaps the richest man of the world - Sir Seth Hukumchand. He has beautiful palaces made all of Italian marble. His own private temple is a unique piece of art. It is made only of glass crystals - a huge temple made just of glass crystals. You stand in the temple and you see yourself reflected in millions of mirrors.
You are surrounded by a crowd of your selves.
He was the only man in the whole world who had a Rolls Royce made in solid gold - even the engine! Nothing else but solid gold was used. But I have never seen a more frustrated person in my life. He had everything, but whenever I used to stay with him he was always talking about his frustrations, anxieties, and that he was becoming old and his desires were not fulfilled.
Desires are millions, and your life is so small. He had perhaps become the richest man - but that was not certain, because the Nizam of Hyderabad had so many diamonds, emeralds and rubies that every year, when they were brought out of the treasury, seven terraces of his palaces were filled by them. They were not counted; they were weighed. Counting was impossible, because in his small kingdom of Hyderabad was the best diamond mine, from which all the great diamonds of the world have come. The Kohinoor, which is in the crown of the queen of England, has come from the Nizam's collection. His collection is immense. Nobody has been able to evaluate it.
Sir Seth Hukumchand used to say to me, "Who knows, perhaps he is richer than me! Perhaps I am not the richest man, the Nizam of Hyderabad may be the richest man."
I said, "Strange - why should you be worried? You have everything that you want, you can have everything that you want." But this is how the ego functions.
Working his whole life, earning - he had thousands of businesses, industries, around the country - naturally, he had destroyed his health. Now that was a problem for the ego: even his servants were more healthy than he was. He had the healthiest horses in India - because he was a lover of horse races, and he had unique horses. I have never seen that kind of horse anywhere else. Those horses were living in marble palaces, the stable was a marble palace. And they were as healthy as any horse can be.
But his ego was suffering because even his servants, even his horses were healthier than him. And he was not a man you could call beautiful. He had beautiful palaces and beautiful collections of all kinds of things. He had his own private museum. From all over the world everything that he wanted was purchased for his museum. But he was just an ordinary, homely man - not beautiful, not handsome - and that was hurting his ego. He was not very tall - that was hurting his ego.
I said, "You are just unnecessarily creating problems for yourself. A six-foot man, or a five-foot man - it doesn't matter, because the five-foot man also reaches the earth, his feet are on the earth. So you may be six feet, seven feet, it doesn't matter; your feet are on the earth. And as far as the sky is concerned, nobody's head touches the sky. So what is the problem? You are not hanging one foot above the earth because you are only five feet tall. That would have been a real problem. But I don't see the problem - your feet reach the earth perfectly well!"
But the ego is impossible. And because you are trying to fulfill the ego, you forget your real task.
Who is going to discover your real self, which is not the ego? Ego is something made up, a facade.
It is a palace made of playing cards: a small breeze, and the palace disappears. And that's what happened.
Sir Seth Hukumchand was known as the silver king of India because he was the dominant figure as far as silver was concerned. It was in his hands to control the price of silver; to bring it down or to bring it up was within his hands. But before he died he was almost bankrupt. Somebody else had become the silver king.
Before his death I had gone to see him, and I told him, "Now you can relax. All that stupidity is gone; you are bankrupt. You could not enjoy all those riches, now enjoy bankruptcy." And in his old age - he was almost eighty - he started crying. I said, "You have not lost anything, because when those things were there you were not happy, you were not rejoicing - so what is the loss?"
He said, "I am not crying for all that. I am crying that death is coming near and I have not looked even for a moment into myself. And you have been telling me again and again that the ego will not help, you will have to find the self; ego is a false substitute."
But when I say to you, "Drop the ego," you all become deaf. "Drop the mala," and you are immediately ready. But all have not dropped the mala. Those who had loved it, those who had accepted it as symbolic of a relationship with me - they have not dropped it. Neither have they dropped their red clothes, because red clothes have become their remembrance of being a sannyasin, that they are initiated into a mystery school. Those red clothes twenty-four hours a day remind you that your work is to find yourself. They have not dropped them.
A few immediately dropped... and it was simply a great experiment to see who is really an initiate, and who is here just by accident. Those who did not drop the mala and did not drop the red clothes may perhaps be able to drop their egos first. Then those who dropped the mala and the red clothes and rushed to the boutique to find new clothes, they will be the last to drop the ego.
And I am not Jesus, who said, "Blessed are the last" - no. Blessed are the first! Cursed are the last!
IN THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL, OSCAR WILDE SAYS, "FOR ALL MEN KILL THE THINGS THEY LOVE. YET NOT EVERYONE HAS TO DIE." IT FEELS LIKE THIS INSIGHT DOES NOT ONLY APPLY TO SHEELA, IT SEEMS TO REFER TO EACH OF US.
PLEASE FORGIVE OUR DEAFNESS, BELOVED MASTER, AND FROM YOUR COMPASSION, GO ON ENCOURAGING OUR SOULS TO GROW AND NOT FALL BACK AND DIE.
Oscar Wilde is not an enlightened person, but a very keen observer of life, and he has many great insights. This is one of his great insights: People kill those things they love.
Why does it happen?... because your love is not pure love, it has many other things. Just hiding behind it there is jealousy, there is a power trip, there is fear of losing the loved one.
So lovers try to make each other prisoners - afraid that if they don't make them prisoners, then their freedom may take them away from them. They cut their wings so that they cannot fly. They are so jealous and suspicious that they destroy each other's joy in life. They want the other to be loving, and the other wants the same, so it becomes almost a dead ritual. You can see a husband kissing a wife: he is just doing a dead ritual because it has to be done; otherwise there will be trouble.
The American philosopher, Dale Carnegie, whose books have sold next to the BIBLE - and he could be a philosopher only in America, because whatever he is talking is such nonsense and rubbish - he suggests that you remember to say two or three times in the day to your wife, "I love you." The same "I love you" the wife has to say two, three times a day to the husband.
But it is not coming out on its own, you are following the book of Dale Carnegie and just repeating like a parrot "I love you." And both know that the love has disappeared long ago, only words have remained. They have killed the love, they have tried to possess each other; and when you try to possess someone you reduce his humanity to a commodity. A wife is not human, she is a thing. A husband is not human, he is a thing.
In China, for thousands of years, until the communist revolution three decades ago, to kill one's wife was not a crime because the wife was your possession. If you destroyed your table or your chair, nobody could say that it was a crime. It was your chair and if you wanted to burn it, it was nobody's business to interfere. The wife was a possession; hence, the husband was allowed to murder a human being and it was not counted as a crime.
In China, the small girl babies had their feet bound so that their feet didn't grow big; that was thought to be one of the most beautiful things in a woman. Only the poor could afford, in China, to have natural feet. In higher society the women were almost crippled; they could not walk, their feet were so small. The body had grown and the feet had remained encaged, so they had not grown. To have the smallest feet was one of the most beautiful things. This is inhuman, but you can do it if it is only a question of possession. Then you can make the possession as beautiful as possible.
And the woman is bound to take revenge in her own way. All the women around the earth have turned bitchy, for the simple reason that they have been tortured in every way. They are boiling with anger. That anger comes up in nagging, in fighting, in continuously quarreling, in beating the children, making the life of the husband as impossible as possible.
In India, for thousands of years, the woman had to jump alive into the funeral pyre of her husband, because now she had no right to live. The husband possessed her while he was alive; he cannot drop the possession, even though he is dead. He wants to keep the domination and possession even after he is dead. He wants to make sure that his wife will not fall in love with somebody else, so the best way is that she dies with him.
So women were forced to die - because it is not an easy thing: you can just try putting your hand in a small candle flame, and that will give you the idea. A living woman has to be forced into the burning funeral pyre. She will rush out to save herself, so they had made arrangements....
Much purified butter would be poured into the funeral pyre. It creates so much smoke that what is happening there, people cannot see. And around the funeral pyre are standing the priests with long torches in their hands, so if the woman tries to get out of the funeral pyre, with their burning torches they push her back. And you cannot see it because so much smoke is there. And in the second line, behind the priests, there are musicians playing so loudly that whatever she screams cannot be heard. And the crowd is standing behind them. This continued for thousands of years. Even today, once in a while - although it is against the law - it happens in small villages.
This is not love. Oscar Wilde's insight is true as far as your so-called love is concerned: you kill the person you love. He may remain alive, but you destroy his freedom, you destroy his humanity; you reduce him to a thing. If this is love, then what is hate?
Jesus says, "Love your enemies just like yourself." He should have said rather, "Love your husbands just like yourself, love your wives just like yourself." These are the real enemies - intimate enemies.
But to attain to that love, just preaching is not enough. You have to go through a total transformation.
You have to move from mind to a state of no-mind. That's what I call meditation - the process of moving from mind to no-mind, from thought to a state of thoughtlessness, silence.
Once you start experiencing the space of no-mind, everything in your life goes through a transformation. The ego dies, your love becomes absolutely clean and pure. Then it does not follow what Oscar Wilde is saying. Oscar Wilde himself became so much disturbed with his love relationships that he became a homosexual.
It is not strange that homosexuals are known as gay people; they are gay. Heterosexuals - you cannot say that they are gay. They are so sad, so serious, so burdened; just waiting for death to free them from all this nonsense that they have created themselves - the wife, the children.... They have messed up their whole life, and their house has become a madhouse.
But homosexuality is not a way out; it is just a slight change, because homosexuals start becoming as jealous, as possessive, and destroy the other as much as heterosexuals. And it is good that Oscar Wilde is not alive today; otherwise, he would be suffering from AIDS. So all his wisdom would have led him to the disease AIDS.
Love has certainly to be purified, and just by changing objects of love nothing is changed. Change your subjectivity.
You ask me not to take note of your deafness, of your blindness. I never take any note. I may talk about it, I may hit you as hard as I can, but I don't take any note of it. What can you do? This is enough, that you are here. You have taken a great step, even in your blindness, to come close to someone who is not blind.
So don't be afraid. My love is not the love Oscar Wilde is talking about. He has no idea of the love that I have for you. It does not destroy; it helps you to become free of all bondages, it helps you to become yourself. My only joy is if you become absolutely free individuals, finding in yourself the source of eternal light.
And there is no need to worry. My compassion for you and for all the sannyasins around the world will keep me in the body long enough, until you open your eyes and wake up. So if you really want me to remain in the body forever, then keep your eyes closed and remain deaf. But that is not good on your part. You should wake up as quickly as possible, because my work as far as I am concerned is finished. I am just hanging around for you.
Even though you go on doing stupid things, it does not change my love for you. I know that what else can you do in your state? Whatever you are doing is expected. But don't continue it: bring it to an end, to a full stop.
I want you to become free of all bondage. Help me, so that I can become free of my body too. That will be your response to my love - because to me my body is a bondage.
This is my last life. Once I get out of this body I am not going to be born again. Then I will be part of this vast universe, that tremendous freedom....
How long are you going to force me to wait?
AFTER TWO YEARS HERE, I HAD HEARD BODHIDHARMA'S LAUGHTER. I NEVER HEARD HIM AGAIN. IS HE STILL AROUND?
He has always been around. Who do you think is sitting in this chair? But if you do not hear the laughter, that simply means you are not hearing, you are not listening; otherwise, the laughter is happening every moment.
In fact, in the whole history of humanity there has never been such a commune, with so much laughter. And a commune that is in search of truth, a commune that is in search of religiousness, a commune that wants to attain to the ultimate heights of ecstasy - no, this type of people have never before been laughing. They thought laughter was something below them.
My understanding is totally different. Laughter is one of the greatest religious qualities. The sense of humor has not been indicated by any religion as an essential quality for their followers. But here there are no followers, only individuals. They are together here because their search is the same.
They are together here because their love is the same. They are together here because they have fallen in love with the same guide.
But the guide is nobody other than Bodhidharma; hence, laughter is our most essential quality. And a sense of humor, playfulness, fun, is something sacred - nothing profane in it. Just listen to it.
I don't laugh, for the simple reason that if I laugh, you will stop laughing immediately. To allow you to laugh, I have to contain myself. I laugh in my room when I am alone!
HOW MANY IDIOTS ARE HERE?
It is a very simple question. There are only two types of people in the world: either you are enlightened, or....