Jesus is not a christian

Fri, 5 June 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Rebel
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Question 1



Maneesha, the rebellious spirit can be religious, but cannot have a religion. And the difference between the two is immense, unbridgeable.

To be religious is an experience, just like love. It is an encounter with the totality of existence. It is facing yourself in the mirror of life. It is orgasmic in the sense that you melt and merge with the whole - the earth, the trees, the flowers, the sky, the stars. It is an oceanic experience, the dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the ocean. You can say either the dewdrop has become the ocean, or you can say the ocean has become the dewdrop. It is the greatest experience there is.

But to belong to a religion is not an experience, it is just a belief system in which you have been brought up. It is all borrowed. And remember that truth cannot be borrowed. Either it is yours, or it is not there.

Gautam Buddha may have known the truth, but there is no way to follow him, because to follow means to imitate, to follow means to become a shadow, to follow means to betray yourself. Following is nothing but the effort of trying to be somebody that you are not; and that is not your destiny either.

Jesus is not a Christian, he is a rebellious spirit; he does not belong to any religion, and that is his crime. Jews could not tolerate him because he had become a stranger to his own people; he had started talking about having a direct contact with the universal spirit.

A religion is a marketplace thing. It is a kind of bureaucracy - you should go through the right channel. You are not even allowed to confess to God directly; you have to confess to the priest and the priest will pray for you. The priest has to always be there as a mediator.

Religion is the business of the priest; it has nothing to do with religiousness. It is a profession, pure and simple, of exploiting the ignorance and the helplessness of mankind. It is exploiting the fear of death, the fear of the unknown, the fear of the responsibilities of life. The priest takes care - you have to simply believe in his church, his religion, his god, his holy scripture.

To belong to a religion is to belong to all kinds of lies and superstitions. To belong to a religion is to belong to the past - which is dead.

A rebellious spirit has no past. A rebellious spirit has only the present and a vast opening towards the future.

Religion, to the religious spirit, is not in the holy scriptures but in the holiness of existence. It is not in the prayer taught by the priests of all kinds of religions. It is in the gratitude that one feels before a sunset, before a sunrise; it is in the gratitude that one feels to be a part of this beautiful and tremendously miraculous existence.

It is a prayer without words. It is a song without sound. It is pure silence. And in that silence existence speaks to you. In that silence you speak to existence, there is a dialogue. No one speaks, no one hears, but there is a transfer of energy. Something transpires within you - perhaps a flame that makes you afire.

Religiousness and rebelliousness are basically names of one experience. But to be a part of an organized religion is to be not really alive, not really in search of truth, not in love with existence. It is a kind of death - although you go on breathing, you go on eating. But all your breathing and all your eating drive you only towards the graveyard. You don't grow up, you only grow old.

Only the rebellious spirit grows up; its longing is to touch the stars. It is not satisfied with the trivia of life. Its contentment is far away; its discontentment is a present reality. The rebellious man has a divine discontent in his heart and a longing to find contentment and peace. He is on a pilgrimage towards that contentment.

His whole life is a pilgrimage, always moving closer and closer and closer to the ultimate reality; that realization that releases one from all bondage, all frustration, all misery, all anguish, and allows one to taste freedom, truth, beauty, love and an outburst of creativity - creativity in the multidimensions of life.

The rebellious man has a golden touch - whatever he touches becomes gold, it does not matter what. He may play on a bamboo flute and it becomes pure gold, twenty-four carat. He may dance alone under the starry sky, and his dance is more meaningful, more significant than all the paintings in the world, all the statues and all the holy scriptures. His creativity may simply be expressed in his silence. But his silence will not be an ordinary silence - just an absence of noise. His silence will be a positive blossoming of roses in his being. You can experience the fragrance of his silence, it is almost tangible.

The organized religions are all dead; the churches, the temples, the mosques, the synagogues...

they are all graveyards of the past. And the sooner we convert them into museums the better, otherwise they are going to kill the whole of humanity - they have already killed too much in every man. They have crippled everybody, poisoned everybody; their destruction is uncountable.

You are asking, Maneesha, "What is the religion of a rebellious spirit?"


Rebellion is the religion of a rebellious spirit - to rebel against all exploitation, to rebel against all discrimination, to rebel against oppression, to rebel against all kinds of spiritual slavery, to rebel against all kinds of superstitions. There is so much to rebel against.

And that is only half of the rebellion, because the other half is to rebel for - to rebel against superstition is only half - to rebel for the truth, to rebel for freedom, to rebel for love, to rebel for a new humanity, to rebel for a new man, a new society, a new kind of consciousness.

Rebellion has two parts. The negative part is against all that is ugly but has been worshipped for centuries, and the positive part is for all that is beautiful but has been ignored for centuries - not only ignored, but crucified, poisoned, murdered. Whenever any individual has tried the authentic religion of rebelliousness, his reward has been crucifixion. Hence I want so many rebellious people in the world that it will be difficult to find people to crucify them.

Mick had returned to his native town after many years overseas. "I hope," said the parish priest, "that you have been loyal to your faith while you have been away."

"Indeed, Father," said Mick, "I have lied, I fought, I cursed, I robbed and I made love to women; but not for a moment did I forget the religion I was brought up in."

What is the point of all these religions? There are three hundred religions in existence in the world today. There are also millions of murders, suicides, rapes, robberies and continuous warfare, either in this part of the world or in another part of the world. What are these religions doing? And everybody is religious! Nobody is disloyal to his religion; he robs, he murders, he rapes, but he remembers that he is a Christian, that he is a Hindu, that he is a Mohammedan, that he is a believer in God, that he is a follower of Gautam Buddha.

What does all this following mean? Sheer deception, not only to others, but to yourself. It is strange - so strange that it is almost unbelievable - that there are three hundred religions in the world and there is no peace, no joy, no celebration, no holiness, no divineness anywhere. All these religions are fake. The rebellious spirit has to get rid of all these religions and create only a quality of religiousness without any adjective - simply religious.

It has always been a problem.... In my whole life I have not been able to vote, for the simple reason that whenever the officers reached me to fill in the form so that I could be a valid voter, there was a clause, "What is your religion?"

I said, "I don't have any religion. I am a religious person."

They said, "But all the clauses have to be filled in."

I said, "Then you can take your form back. I am not so much interested in voting anyway, because it is an unnecessary anxiety when you have to choose between two idiots. Whom to vote for? - whoever you vote for, you are voting for an idiot. It is better not to vote, at least your hands are clean.

You can see: my hands are absolutely clean!"

Man's problems have increased as time has passed. It should have been otherwise - that the problems would be less and less as man has become more and more cultured, educated, civilized.

But the more he is cultured, the more he is civilized, the more he is educated, his problems have increased out of all proportion. And religions go on proclaiming that they have the cure for every disease, for every spiritual sickness. But man is suffering from spiritual sickness all over the world - everybody is feeling hollow. And these religions have not been of any help; on the contrary, they have increased his problems by their wrong, unnatural, stupid teachings.

It was Mrs. Levy's third visit to the doctor for a cure from her cold. "Doctor," she complained, "nothing you have given me has been of any use. Mr. Levy complains that I keep him awake all night with my cough. Can you do something - anything to cure me?"

"Okay," the doctor replied, "go home and have a hot bath and without drying yourself stand in the nude where there is a strong draft."

"Really," Mrs. Levy sniffed, "will that cure me?"

"No," replied the doctor, "but it will give you pneumonia, and I can cure pneumonia."

These religions have been giving you bigger diseases. Perhaps, in a certain way, when you have a bigger disease you tend to forget the smaller one.

I have heard about Mulla Nasruddin, that he was purchasing shoes in a shop. The shopkeeper said, "Mulla, are you mad or something, because you are trying on shoes which are not going to fit. You need shoes that are one size bigger."

Mulla said, "Don't disturb me. I have always used that size and I am going to continue to use that size. I am a man of principles."

The shopkeeper said, "It is up to you, but you will suffer the whole day. The shoes will pinch you."

Mulla said, "That's what I want."

The shopkeeper said, "But why do you want that?"

He said, "You don't understand the psychology of it. Suffering the whole day, when I come home and take off my shoes, it is such a relief that I say, 'My God!' - it brings such pleasure. Without these shoes, life is nothing but misery. The whole day they keep me away from all miseries. I don't have enough energy to look at other miseries. What my wife is saying, who has ears to hear her?

My shoes are pinching me so badly that I am only hearing my shoes. She goes on talking to herself - she has become accustomed to monologues.

"Business is bad, things are going from bad to worse, but nothing worries me. My only worry is my shoes. The shoes keep me away from all the miseries of the world; and in the end, before going to bed, taking them off gives me such relief that I sleep so relaxedly, so deeply.... And you are suggesting that I wear shoes that are one size bigger? You are going to destroy my life!"

These religions have provided you all with shoes that don't fit - shoes which may have fit somebody five thousand years ago. They have given you pants which don't fit. They are making a mockery of you, because those shoes are not made according to your needs, those pants are not made for you, those shirts are not made for you. Everything that these religions are supplying for you has been made by somebody else for somebody else far back - centuries before. Nothing fits; everything gives nothing but pain.

But these religions have been teaching you: blessed are those who suffer, blessed are those who live in misery, blessed are those whose lives are of hostility, asceticism, self-torture, because they shall inherit the kingdom of God. So just to inherit the kingdom of God you go on wearing shoes that don't fit, caps that are so loose that you cannot see - they cover your eyes. Clothes that are either so small that you want to jump out of them or so loose that a crowd can live inside them - the whole family can be accommodated.

The rebellious man cannot accept any of this idiocy. His religion is his intelligence. His religion is his consciousness.

His religion is his awareness.

And out of his awareness, he becomes as free as a bird on the wing, as beautiful as a lotus in the pond, and as joyous as a cuckoo singing from the mango grove. He starts living for the first time, and he knows that life is the only God there is - there is no other God.

The rebellious man is a pagan. He worships the trees, he worships the stars, he worships the rivers, the mountains. He worships man, he worships everything that is alive - because wherever there is life, there is godliness.

Question 2:





Gayan, first it has to be understood that Nijinsky is a great dancer but understands nothing about human consciousness and its growth. What he says is partially true. When asked why people of the same century all seem to be alike, he answered, "It is the result of their clothing, because the clothes dictate our movements."

It is a partially true statement, but it is not only the clothes - the whole educational system is similar, the upbringing of people is similar, their superstitions are similar, their political ideologies are similar, their food is similar. All these things together - not only the clothes; that is only one of the similarities - give people of one certain period a sameness.

Society does not like unique people; it wants everybody to be part of the herd. Hence, hair should be cut in a certain way, clothes should be worn in a certain way, food should be eaten in a certain way.

What should be eaten, what should be read, what is acceptable to the culture and what is not - all these imposed things give a similarity to almost everybody. It destroys individuality and uniqueness.

Clothes also play a great part. You are asking, "Could you talk about the clothes of the new man?"

Before I say anything about your question, I would like you to understand something about clothes.

No animal except man uses clothes. And there was a time when even man was not using clothes.

Clothes are unnatural. But is has been a long time since we dropped our natural nakedness and adopted clothes.

The reasons are two. One is that man came out of the jungles, where he was a hunter and lived only by hunting, and he became a cultivator. He started creating small villages which turned into big cities. When he was just a hunter, there were neither rich men nor poor men. When he became a cultivator he soon had to discover money, because he could not go on accumulating his products from the field - he had to sell them.

The barter system that started in the beginning proved to be too complicated. For example, you had milk, more than you needed, and you needed more fruits. You had to find a man who had more fruits, for one thing, and secondly was in need of milk. It was such a complicated problem.

Sometimes you came across a man who was willing to give you fruits, but he had no need of any milk. The exchange was not possible. And the exchange had to be quick, because milk is such a product that tomorrow it will be spoiled. Fruits are such a product... maybe they can keep a little longer, but they will also become rotten.

It became more and more difficult; and when things become difficult, a solution is always bound to appear on the horizon. Man has intelligence enough to solve his problems; he just needs a challenge. He invented money, currency. You need not find another man to exchange your product with; you can simply sell your product to anybody.

The invention of money was a tremendous change for the whole structure of society. There were powerful people; stronger people, weaker people. Those who were stronger managed to become kings or big landlords - these are beautiful names for robbers, thieves, murderers.

In England the lords are still respected. They are the children of people who had taken possession of the land from many other people, expelling them from their lands. Slowly slowly, they started accumulating arms, armies and security forces.

One of the things that came with private property, with money, with land, with houses, was the private ownership of women. Before that, the woman was not under private ownership; she was a free individual just as man was. But now the people who had money wanted it absolutely guaranteed that their son was really their son, not somebody else's. And the beauty of their woman had to be kept hidden; her body had to be kept hidden. For the first time she was not for all, she was private property.

Clothing started with private property. First it was the woman who was forced not to be nude. And as the woman became clothed, man started feeling embarrassed. He started feeling that he is like the animals, naked - and the woman is clothed. Naturally he followed.

After thousands of years, because we have used clothes, our skin, our bodies are no longer strong enough to remain naked in the cold winter, the hot summer, in the pouring rains. Most of us would die. We need protection. Our bodies have lost the resistance which the animals still have.

The new man will certainly go through a change about everything, including clothes. Clothes will be allowed just to protect your body, designed in a way that they give you enough protection in different seasons - different kinds of clothes. But they will be only for the outside, in the marketplace. When you are in your own room, centrally heated or centrally air conditioned, there is no need to use clothes.

Clothes should be used only when necessary. Slowly slowly, bodies will regain the strength that they have lost. Sitting on your own lawn, there is no need for clothes. If the climate is good and is not against your body, it is absolutely stupid to wear clothes.

Clothes, on the one hand, have helped in protecting man; on the other hand they have destroyed much - they have taken away much beauty. If people have to be naked, they cannot have big bellies; they will feel ashamed. What will the neighbors say?

Right now you can have big bellies - as big as you want - because only your faces show. Everything else is covered by clothes, and there are gadgets to make your body appear beautiful. Naked, you can appear beautiful only if you are beautiful. So only ugly people will use clothes in their gardens, in their parks, on their lawns, in their homes; and they will feel embarrassed that they have to use clothes. Clothes will not have the importance that they have right now.

This importance has been given by all the religions, who are against sex. The fear of nudity is the fear of sex. In the Victorian Age, particularly in England, very high class ladies used to cover their dogs with clothes - because dogs after all are dogs. If they come across a girlfriend, then they don't care about any culture; in the middle of the road they start making love. So they were covered with such clothes that they could not make love.

Even the legs of chairs and tables were covered, because they are called 'legs' and it reminds you of uncovered legs. So in very rich, noble families, families of lords, royalty, everything that even reminded them of the body and its nudity was covered.

Bertrand Russell lived a long life, almost a century; hence, he saw tremendous changes. One whole century passed by and he remained as young in his intelligence as ever, to the very last moment.

He remembers his childhood... he was an earl, belonging to the family of a lord. His grandfather was the prime minister of England. He remembers perfectly well that in his house dogs were not allowed to be naked, chairs were not allowed to remain with naked legs. Women wore such clothes as you can see in museums or in the pictures of history books - they touch the ground and you cannot see the legs or the feet of the woman. Even to see the feet of a woman was enough to create a sexual idea in people's minds, a sexual arousal.

Today, even a naked woman can pass by, particularly in my place, and if somebody is doing his work he will not even bother to look at her - it is her business. If she feels good, then why should she be unnecessarily prevented from having a direct contact with the sun or the moon or the rain? If she loves to dance in the rain, and if you are interested you can take your guitar and help her dance with a tune, but otherwise it is none of your business.

The rebellious society I have been talking about will allow people to use clothes when they are needed, where they are needed.

For example, in the city of Poona... I don't think that this city is ever going to be rebellious, because the people are dead - they have died long, long ago. Now, you cannot expect them to be rebellious, so there is no need to create disturbances in the graveyards. When you move through graveyards naked, the dead men will toss and turn in their graves unnecessarily. Why disturb them? They are fast asleep and asleep forever.

But whenever you are in a place where people understand the freedom that nakedness gives you...

and you all know it. In your bathroom, when you are naked, you have a certain freedom, as if your handcuffs have been removed - a certain cover that was compulsorily surrounding you has been put aside. Just to feel your body against the wind, against the sun, against the rain, has a tremendous beauty, liveliness, naturalness. It will very quickly reduce all the ugliness that bodies have gathered because clothes were protecting them - they grow ugly behind the clothes.

I have known people... for example Muktananda's master, Nityananda. He could not do anything other than lie down flat because his belly was so big; and to carry it here and there, it was such a heavy load a crane must have been needed! So he used to just lie down flat; and when I saw him, I could not believe my eyes. His belly was so big - almost like a mountain - with a small head on this side, and two small legs joined on the other side.

I inquired of the man who had taken me there - he was a minister in Maharashtra. He was Nityananda's follower and he was insisting that I see his master, so I agreed. I said, "Okay, I am going that way. His ashram is just on the way, thirty miles from Bombay. So I will stop there; I would love to see him for a few minutes."

I asked him, "Just tell me one thing: whether Nityananda has this belly or the belly has Nityananda?

- because the belly is so big and Nityananda is so small, almost negligible! The belly is everything."

And I said to him, "People who go to climb Mt. Everest, Edmund Hillary and others, unnecessarily waste their time there. They can just come here and climb on Nityananda's belly. And keep a photographer here - whoever climbs first will become an historical figure, because it seems to be very slippery!"

He was continuously polished, massaged - oil was poured on him. And those who were his worshippers were massaging him. Nobody even knew how to massage....

The new man would love to have beautiful bodies around, healthy bodies, more resistant against natural forces. But it is not a philosophy of nudism, it does not insist that you have to be nude everywhere and anywhere. It simply gives you the freedom that whenever clothes are needed.... In a Rotary Club, in a Lions Club, if you go nude you will not look like a lion at all. You will look just like what you are. In a Rotary Club, if everybody arrives nude it will be very difficult to recognize who is who.

We recognize people by their clothes. Otherwise, the king and the beggar nude, the beggar may look far more beautiful, because he is seasoned, he has lived through rains, through summers, through winters. He is more alive, his skin has more strength and power. The king will look poor; he looks great in his clothes.

It is perfectly good that a policeman has a uniform; otherwise what identification is there that this fellow is the police commissioner? You will have to give them bells to ring or some kind of thing to show that, "I am the police commissioner, here comes the police commissioner," because a naked man doesn't even have pockets to keep his identity cards in - so you will have to allow clothes.

I am not in favor of nudism, I am in favor of natural living, according to the circumstances. In your home when you are playing with your children, there is no need for any identity. You don't have to be a supreme court judge, you don't have to be a great doctor, you simply have to be a human being.

Eating, there is no need for clothes. And when your houses are well air-conditioned in summer, you can be nude; well heated in winter, you can be nude. And once in a while you can enjoy being nude in the park, in your garden.

And in every commune the new man will create a place where people are not expected to have clothes, like swimming pools. Just in formal places, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, you can have beautiful clothes.

To wear clothes once in a while means you will enjoy them more. You will also enjoy your nudity more, because you have a freedom of choice. But this is possible only when sex and the naturalness of human beings are accepted in their totality. It is the denial of sex that is behind the clothes.

Because I affirm everything natural, I affirm your nudity with my total heart. But you have to be very sensible, because right now the rebellious society has not yet come into existence. The old society has forgotten to die; it goes on living although its time is passed. Perhaps death has forgotten to destroy it or it has forgotten how to die - it just goes on living! But its time is very limited. By the end of this century the old society will be gone, and the coming of the new man will bring in every dimension of life - newness, new qualities.

Yes Gayan, even about clothes: clothes will not be compulsory, they will be optional. They will be according to your decisions, not an enforcement by the government or by the society. And the more you can live without clothes, the healthier you will be, the longer you will live - and you will live with less sickness. A deep affirmativeness about your body, about other people's bodies, will give you a new sense of respect, which has disappeared.

Right now the situation is that even if your own body is brought nude before you - without the head, because the head will be there watching - you will not be able to recognize it. In the second world war when millions of Jews were destroyed by Adolf Hitler and his people, they cut off their heads and threw their bodies into trenches. When their families heard they went there, but they could not recognize who was who because they knew only the faces.

Even the wife had not known her husband's whole body; even the husband had not known his wife's whole body. Without the head, he was at a loss to recognize who his wife was, and for her, who was her husband. Mothers could not recognize their children. We have become accustomed only to the face, and we have forgotten the whole body. It is a very partial way of living.

The rebellious man and his society will be making every effort to make your life total. There is nothing wrong with the naked body. But please, don't misunderstand me. Don't start moving on the streets of the dead city of Poona naked, because the government is only waiting for some excuse.

You have to be alert not to give any excuse to them - they are bringing all kinds of false charges against the ashram. We will fight their false charges in the courts - we are fighting.

But they are absolutely worried that our people are not giving them any chance to say that we have disturbed the peace of the town, or that we have created an antagonism for the dead people of Poona. They think that they are very highly cultured, they think that they are very religious. And their religion is so poor and their culture is so bogus that they cannot tolerate a young couple holding hands, just holding hands and going for a morning walk. That is enough to disturb their souls; their spirituality starts having earthquakes.

Don't give them earthquakes. We have to exist here like an island. Be completely away from the dead people! Even to disturb them is to be related in some way. I don't want you to be related to them at all. It is perfectly good that they are dead and it is perfectly good that we are alive, and between the dead and the alive there is no need of any relationship.

But the new society, the society of my vision, will allow you every freedom, and the freedom to be nude will constitute one of the basic freedoms.

So as far as Poona is concerned, behave according to the rules of the dead; that is wiser.

Mrs. Tanelli has recently arrived in America from Italy. At a school gathering she is cornered by Mrs.


"And on our tenth anniversary," Mrs. Goldberg informs her, "my darling husband gave me a mink coat."

"That's-a nice," Mrs. Tanelli replies.

"On our twentieth anniversary he gave me a twenty-four carat ring," Mrs. Goldberg continues.

"That's-a nice," says Mrs. Tanelli.

"And what wonderful things has your husband done for you?" Mrs. Goldberg asks.

"Well," replies Mrs. Tanelli, "right-a after we come to America he send-a me to a finishing school."

"Really," said Mrs. Goldberg, "and what did they teach you there?"

"Well," Mrs. Tanelli says, "I used to say, 'Bullshit!' and now I say, 'That's-a nice!'"

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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From Jewish "scriptures":

"Those who do not confess the Torah and the Prophets must be killed.
Who has the power to kill them, let them kill them openly, with the sword.
If not, let them use artifices, till they are done away with."

-- (Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 424, 5)