Chapter title: No man has ever found God. Whenever man is ready, God finds him.
15 December 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India
Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 3, 05
12 AND JESUS WENT INTO THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND CAST OUT ALL THEM THAT SOLD AND BOUGHT IN THE TEMPLE, AND OVERTHREW THE TABLES OF THE MONEY-CHANGERS, AND THE SEATS OF THEM THAT SOLD DOVES,
13 AND SAID UNTO THEM, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER; BUT YE HAVE MADE IT A DEN OF THIEVES.
23 AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO THE TEMPLE, THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE CAME UNTO HIM AS HE WAS TEACHING, AND SAID, BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? AND WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?
24 AND JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM...
25... A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS; AND HE CAME TO THE FIRST, AND SAID, SON, GO WORK TODAY IN MY VINEYARD.
29 HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I WILL NOT: BUT AFTERWARD HE REPENTED, AND WENT.
30 AND HE CAME TO THE SECOND, AND SAID LIKEWISE. AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I GO, SIR: AND WENT NOT.
31 WHETHER OF THEM TWAIN DID THE WILL OF HIS FATHER. THEY SAY UNTO HIM, THE FIRST. JESUS SAITH UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT THE PUBLICANS AND THE HARLOTS GO INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEFORE YOU.
32 AND WHEN THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE PHARISEES HAD HEARD HIS PARABLES, THEY PERCEIVED THAT HE SPAKE OF THEM.
33 BUT WHEN THEY SOUGHT TO LAY HANDS ON HIM, THEY FEARED THE MULTITUDE, BECAUSE THEY TOOK HIM FOR A PROPHET.
ALL REVOLUTIONS have failed. And when I'say all`, I mean all. The very concept of revolution proved absolutely futile, a mirage. Revolution means a rebellion organized. But you cannot organize a rebellion - that's impossible - because in the very organization, the rebellion dies. Organization is against rebellion; so all revolutions fail because they try to succeed. To be successful they have to be organized. The moment they are organized they become another establishment. They may be anti-establishment but still, they have their own establishment. They cannot be non-establishment - that is impossible. Organize a revolution and you have killed it. An organized revolution is aborted already.
Rebellion is unorganized, rebellion is individual. It comes out of the authenticity of a single being; it comes out of the authenticity of a single being's heart.
Revolution is political, rebellion is religious. Revolution means a social phenomenon; rebellion is meditative. This has to be understood, this distinction.
It is very significant. And if you miss it, you will miss the very meaning of the life of Jesus, because he is a rebel - he is not a revolutionary. Neither is Buddha a revolutionary, nor Lao Tzu. Manu is revolutionary, Marx is revolutionary, Mao is revolutionary, but not Jesus, not Krishna, not Buddha. They are rebels.
A revolution is a planning. A revolution thinks of the future; a rebellion is herenow. Revolution is utopian - a dream, somewhere in the future, the golden age, the utopia, the paradise. Rebellion is to live it here and now. To be rebellious means to be transformed totally.
In revolution, and in the ideology of revolution, you try to change the others, you try to change the scene. In rebellion, you change yourself and the scene changes by itself, of its own accord, because your vision is different. You have different eyes to look with.
Rebellion is spontaneous. It has nothing to do with any ideology. Rebellion is non-ideological. Rebellion is like love; you don't think about it; you cannot think about it. Either you live it or you don't live it; either it is there or it is not there.
Rebellion is a happening. If you are ready, you start living a totally different life: the life of authenticity, the life of innerness, the life of God, or whatsoever you would like to call it.
Jesus is a rebel, but even his followers misunderstood him - they thought he was a revolutionary; they organized. Then Christ disappeared, and Christianity was left behind. Christianity is the corpse, the corpse of Christ.
Christianity is again the same establishment against whom Jesus was rebellious.
Christianity belongs to the same priests who crucified Jesus. Now the temple has moved. It is not in Jerusalem, it is in the Vatican; but it is the same temple. The money-changers have changed, but the money-changing is the same. The establishment is now owned by other people, by other names, in other names, but the establishment is the same. If Jesus comes back, and goes to the Vatican, he will again do the same thing. He was a rebel. A rebel simply lives out of his spontaneity; he has no idea what it should be. He acts out of his understanding; he responds to a situation, and something starts happening.
AND JESUS WENT INTO THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND CAST OUT ALL THEM THAT SOLD AND BOUGHT IN THE TEMPLE, AND OVERTHREW THE TABLES OF THE MONEY-CHANGERS, AND THE SEATS OF THEM THAT SOLD DOVES.
Remember, I tell you, he had not gone there with this idea. He had not planned it, he was not thinking about it, otherwise he would have organized it. He would have gone there with a group organized to do this. Even his own disciples were not aware what was going to happen. I tell you, even Jesus was not aware what was going to happen. A man like Jesus lives from moment to moment. He's available. Whatsoever happens, he will respond to it.
It happened suddenly. He entered the temple and saw that the temple had been destroyed; that no more was it a house of prayer, that people were not praying, that people were not meditating, that people had completely forgotten the purpose of the temple, for what it existed, and that this temple was no more the abode of God. Now it had been captured by the priests.
And priests have always been against God. They live in the name of God, but they have always been against God. They teach prayer, but whatsoever they teach is false. They teach doctrines; they don't teach the truth, because you can teach the truth only if you live it. There is no other teaching about it.
I have heard a beautiful story about St. Francis, another Jesus. One day he said to his disciple, Leo, "Brother Leo, let us go to the town, and teach and preach to people."
They went into the town. They went up and down the streets meeting people, smiling, talking to people - sometimes patting a boy, sometimes smiling at a woman, and sometimes saying a cheery word to a tired traveller. And it went on and on. But now it was almost getting dark and the sun was setting. Leo asked, "Master, when are we going to preach?"
And Francis said, "And what have we been doing? We have been preaching; we have been talking to people. They have observed us; they have listened to us. A few of them even looked into our eyes; a few of them have become aware what treasures we are carrying within our hearts. And there is no other teaching; there is no other preaching." Said St. Francis, "There is no use walking anywhere to preach, unless we preach as we walk."
A priest is not living what he is speaking. A priest goes on talking about and about and about. And whenever a temple is possessed by a priest it is destroyed.
The great temple of God in Jerusalem was not destroyed by the enemies; it was destroyed by the priests. But it has always been so - the friends are the real enemies. Those who pretend they are the protectors, they are the ones who are destroying. And it has always been so, because rebellion has always been misunderstood as revolution.
Once Jesus is gone, his disciples start organizing - the doctrine, the dogma. Then the doctrine and the dogma become more important; then the future becomes more important. Then they become missionaries; not people who live in the here and now, not people who are spontaneous, not people who love, but people who talk about love. And if you argue against them, they are ready to fight. They are even ready to go to wars to defend the doctrine of love.
It happened that an authentic enquirer, a seeker, went to a rabbi, to a priest - the most famous of course of those days, and he said, "Please tell me the whole Torah, but in short. I will be standing on one leg, and you have to finish the whole Torah while I am standing on one leg."
The priest was annoyed, the rabbi became angry, and he told his disciples, "Throw this man outside the temple. He seems to be a sceptic. And this is insulting. He has insulted the sacred book; he has insulted our tradition."
Then the same enquirer went to a mystic, Hillel, and he said the same thing to him. And this is the difference between a priest and a mystic: Hillel said, "Perfectly true. In fact, the Torah is so short that I can repeat it a thousand and one times while you are standing on one leg. You stand." The man stood on one leg. Hillel said, "Do unto others what you would like to be done to you. This is the whole Torah. All else is just commentary."
You cannot annoy a mystic. The mystic cannot be forced by you to be angry, because he lives love. But the priest goes on talking about love. If you argue, if you are sceptical, if you are a doubter, he is angered - he can even kill you to help you. He can kill you because he has to defend the doctrine of love.
No other religion has created as many wars as Christianity, and all its preaching is about love. Nobody else has created as many wars as Islam, and the very word'Islam' means peace. The word 'peace' creates war. The whole of Christianity is based on a single word 'love', but the ultimate result is crusades, wars, murders.
Why does it happen? Once religion becomes a dogma it is bound to happen.
Once rebellion turns into a revolution, into an organized thing, it is bound to happen. Rebellion is individual, pure, virgin; it comes out of the heart; it is not some doctrine.
A man came to me once and he said, "I wish I had your creed. Then I would live a life like you." He repeated it: "I wish I had your creed; then I would live a life like yours."
I told the man, "You please start living the life like me. Soon you will have the creed."
The vice versa is not true - you cannot have the creed first, and then the life. Life is the primary, the basic; creed is just a shadow.
AND JESUS WENT INTO THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND CAST OUT ALL THEM THAT SOLD AND BOUGHT IN THE TEMPLE, AND OVERTHREW THE TABLES OF THE MONEY-CHANGERS, AND THE SEATS OF THEM THAT SOLD DOVES. AND SAID UNTO THEM, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER...
Tremendously beautiful words - he says, "... My house." When you are deeply centered in yourself, you are no more a man; you become god. That is the meaning of God: a centered consciousness. It has no other meaning. You can become a god if you are rooted deeply within yourself, centered. If your consciousness has become a flame, without any smoke around it, you are a god.
When Jesus said, "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer," he's not really quoting any scripture, he's creating a scripture. He says, "It is written..." because those priests won't be able to understand. He quotes the scripture, but he is not really bothering about the scripture; he is creating it. His each word is a scripture.
... MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER; BUT YE HAVE MADE IT A DEN OF THIEVES.
It is no more a prayer-house, it is no more a temple.
AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO THE TEMPLE, THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE CAME UNTO HIM AS HE WAS TEACHING, AND SAID, BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? AND WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?
The organized religion always asks, "By what authority?" - as if the consciousness itself is not enough authority; as if some other authority is needed; as if something from the outside has to become the proof. But consciousness in itself is the authority, the only authority - there is no other authority and no other proof. But when the priest faces a mystic like Jesus, even then he is asking about scriptures - he says, "Who has given you this authority?" He's talking about the law, the legal code. He's talking the language of the establishment, "Who has given you this authority?" - as if to be prayerful needs anybody else's authority; as if to be centered one needs any licence; as if to be centered one needs any sanction from the government.
But that is what organized religion becomes. In Christianity ridiculous things have been happening. They issue orders, and they issue recognitions that somebody has become a saint. The very word 'saint' is ugly. It comes from a root term which means 'sanction'. It means the church has sanctioned that a certain person is now a saint - the recognition of the church, as if it is a Nobel prize, or a government award. The court and the legal advisers of the government have to decide, as if it is a university degree, that now you are a Ph.D. or a D. Litt.
Sainthood has no need of any sanction. Sainthood is its own sanction, it is an inner authority.
Unless you speak with your inner authority, please don't speak, don't utter a word; because those words are going to be false, untrue. The true word arises out of your own being; it is born out of you as a child is born out of a mother. You have to become pregnant with God, and then the word is born. That is the only authority; no other authority is needed.
AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO THE TEMPLE, THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE CAME UNTO HIM AS HE WAS TEACHING, AND SAID, BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? "Who has given you the authority to overthrow the tables of the moneychangers? Who has given you the authority to change the rules and regulations of the temple?"
WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY? Jesus must have laughed. He didn't answer them because even that is irrelevant; their question is absurd.
I have heard a story about Diogenes. He was caught by thieves. And then they brought him to a slave market. He was a beautiful man; v ery few people have been so beautiful... a very strong body. And they put him on the slave-block to be sold. He stood there smiling, humming a song, unconcerned with what was happening. Then he saw a man, a young man, very rich - his clothes were very rich, but he was standing there very absentmindedly, maybe drunk. He was standing there in the crowd, almost asleep, depressed, sad; a deep sorrow surrounded him. Diogenes said to the thieves who had caught him, and who had brought him to the slave market, "Sell me to that man. He looks as if he needs a master."
Jesus or a Diogenes, Buddha or Mahavir, they have their own authority; they are masters of their being. It is said of Buddha that a great scholar came to him and said, "Sir, whatsoever you are saying, it is not written in the Vedas."
Buddha said, "Then write it in the Vedas."
The scholar was a little puzzled. He could not believe somebody could say that - "Write it!" The man said, "Sir, not only is that the case but sometimes you contradict. Whatsoever is written in the Vedas, you say contrary things."
Buddha said, "Then amend the Vedas. Because when I am here, when the Veda is alive here, then the dead Veda has to be corrected according to me."
A Buddha is not to follow the Vedas; the Vedas have to follow him - because they have been created by Buddhas, other centered beings. From where is their authority? If you ask Jesus, "From where is your authority?" then, because you are asking, "Has Moses given you a certificate?'' you will ask from where Moses gets his authority. And if Moses can get it directly from God, then why not Jesus? You must have heard the beautiful story when Moses encountered God. He was moving on Mount Horeb and suddenly he heard God calling him from a thorn bush. He was afraid. He started trembling and God said, "Don't be afraid. It is I.
Don't be afraid. But take your shoes off, because you are walking on holy ground." He threw off his shoes. He ran towards God, who was like a burning flame, a burning fire in the thorn bush. He could not believe his eyes, because the bush was green and the fire was burning and the bush was not burned and he asked, "Who are you? This is a miracle."
And God said, "This is nothing - because I am life, I am creative force. I am not a destroyer, I am a creator. So even when my fire is there, the bush is not burning. I cannot burn; I can only heal. I cannot wound; I can only heal."
When Moses was coming back with the message God gave him, he was afraid, because his people would ask, "By what authority? From where have you brought these ten commandments? Who are you to force these ten commandments over our heads? What is your authority?"
Moses was a little more legal than Jesus. Jesus himself says, "Moses gave you the law; I give you love." Love has something in it which is always beyond law. And if your love is legal, it is not love. "Moses gave you the law. I give you love.
Moses gave you the commandments, the outer morality; I give you the inner source of all morality," says Jesus.
Moses must have been a legal mind. He was. He asked, "People will ask,'From whom do you bring these commandments?' "
And do you know what God said? God said, "Tell them it is from I."
Moses asked, "Who are you, what is your name? They will ask your name."
And God said, "Tell them, I am that I am."
What does this mean, "I am that I am"? It means: "I am not talking from the outside, I am talking from the inside. I am your deepest am-ness. I am your deepest I. When the superficial I disappears, you will come to know me within yourself." All authority is from within. And they asked Jesus: BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? AND WHO GAVE THIS AUTHORITY TO YOU?
Jesus didn't answer. Many times it seems Jesus got into trouble by not answering. But there are things which cannot be answered. On the last day of his life, Pontius Pilate asked, "What is truth?" and he remained silent, because silence is truth and truth is silence. But the governor-general could not understand it.
Governor-generals are almost always stupid people, otherwise why should they be governor-generals? Politicians are almost always mediocre people, otherwise why should they waste their lives in politics? Much more is available, and they waste their lives just in competition, they are just on the ego trip.
If Jesus had said something, he may have understood, at least he may have thought that he understood. Jesus remained silent. He could not understand that.
He must have thought, "This man is insulting me by not answering."
The priest asked him: BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? Who has given you the authority? - and Jesus remained silent again. Because there are things which cannot be answered.
He is his own authority. And this is his message, that everybody should be his own authority. Be your authority, be an authority unto yourself. You are not here to follow anybody; you are here to be yourself. Your life is yours; your love is yours; your innermost core of being is your authority for everything you do. And until you become an authority unto yourself you will be moving astray; you will be following this and that. You will be following shadows, and you will never be fulfilled. Jesus didn't say anything. Rather, he told them a parable. He is one of the greatest story-tellers.
AND JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM.
... A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS; AND HE CAME TO THE FIRST, AND SAID, SON, GO WORK TODAY IN MY VINEYARD.
HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I WILL NOT: BUT AFTERWARD HE REPENTED, AND WENT.
He said, "No," but afterward he repented and went, and in reality said, "Yes." He said no through his mind, but he said yes from his totality.
AND HE CAME TO THE SECOND, AND SAID LIKEWISE, AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I GO, SIR: AND WENT NOT.
He said yes through his mind, and said no from his totality.
WHETHER OF THEM TWAIN DID THE WILL OF HIS FATHER? asked Jesus. Who did the will of his father? - the one who said, "No," but transformed his no into a yes, or the one who said, "Yes," but whose yes was impotent, and whose yes was just a way, a polite way of saying no? Who followed? Who obeyed? WHETHER OF THEM TWAIN DID THE WILL OF HIS FATHER? asked Jesus.
The priests SAY UNTO HIM, THE FIRST.
JESUS SAITH UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT THE PUBLICANS AND THE HARLOTS GO INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEFORE YOU - because you have been saying yes but doing no. Your yes is just verbal, just skin-deep - it doesn't come from your heart.
Why is this the way Jesus is answering them? He has not said anything where his authority comes from, but in a way he has said everything. He says, "Because I have said yes to my God totally, from there comes my authority: because I have obeyed him, because I have surrendered myself to him."
He's not saying that on the surface, but deep down he has asserted his authority.
Who has done the will of his father - the one who says yes and never goes to do anything about it? This is what has been done by priests and scholars, by men of learning and knowledge, and by pundits.
I have heard one ancient Indian story. A sage had a parrot and the sage used to say to everybody, "Watch out for the trap. Don't sit on the trap." Of course he meant the MAYA, the illusion of the world, the trap of greed, the trap of possessiveness, the trap of anger and violence. So he used to say to his disciples, "Watch out for the trap. Don't sit on the trap."
By and by the parrot also learned it. So whenever the sage would say it, the parrot would also repeat it, even louder than the sage. And the parrot would say, "Watch out for the trap! Don't sit on the trap!" And everybody enjoyed it.
One day by mistake, the cage of the parrot was left open, and he flew out of it.
Everybody had started to love the parrot, so the sage and his disciples, they all went all over the forest to search for him. When they were reaching deeper and deeper into the forest they heard the parrot saying, "Watch out for the trap. Don't sit on the trap." So they were very happy that he was there. So, following the direction of his voice, they reached there. And what did they see? They could not believe it: he was sitting on a trap. He was trapped - sitting on a trap he was continuously repeating, "Watch out for the trap! Don't sit on the trap."
That happens to people who live in the head. Whatsoever they say, their life is just the contrary. They don't live it; they go on just repeating like a parrot. They become great scholars: they know everything about God and they have not tasted even a little bit what God means. Their life has remained untouched. Their knowledge has a separate world; it is a storage in the memory. Their heart has remained as ignorant as ever. They know much, and they know not. They seem to know much, but their ignorance is tremendous.
I was reading the autobiography of a great mystic, a Chinese mystic, who used to be the librarian of the Chinese emperor. Once somebody asked him some question, and of course it was expected that the librarian should know all the answers. He was there to read and study for the king, so whenever the king wanted to know anything he could ask the librarian.
But this librarian had a bad habit of saying to almost all questions, "I don't know." So when some minister of the emperor asked some significant question which needed to be answered and the librarian said, "I don't know," the minister became annoyed. He said, "The king pays you for it; you have to know it."
The librarian said, "The king pays for my knowledge. If the king is ready to pay for my ignorance also.... He pays me for things I know, but if he starts paying me for things I don't know, then his treasures will not be enough. Only a few things I know. In fact, only one thing I know," he said, "and that is myself All else I can pretend to know. I can collect information, but that will not be knowledge."
If you go on collecting information then this will happen - you will go on saying yes in your head and you will go on saying no in your life. You will become a dichotomy, a split personality. Your head will be going north; your heart will be going south, and you will be in a constant tug of war.
That's what has happened. You know everything about love, but have you loved? You know everything about prayer, but have you prayed? You know everything about beauty, but have you observed beauty, have you got lost in some beautiful phenomenon? Have you become in any moment so total that the head and heart lose their constant tug of war? Has there ever been a moment when you were so total that you were not? If that has not happened, then you can go on saying yes but it will not mean much - maybe just a polite attitude.
The so-called religious people of the world are just like the second son who said, "I go, sir" - and went not. Even an atheist is better because he says no. At least he is true, at least he says whatsoever he feels. He's authentic; he says, "No, I'm not going." A man who is authentic will sooner or later become aware. He will become remorseful about the no; he will repent.
Remember this: the world is irreligious because of so-called religious people. It would be better if you were never taught to be religious. It would have been better if you were not conditioned to be religious, because all conditioning can create only a polite yes, but not a transformation, not a mutation. Better to say no - because if you say no, and your no is true and authentic and honest, sooner or later you will have to say yes.
Why? Because nobody can live in a no. This has to be understood - one of the most fundamental things. Nobody can live in a no. No is negative. You cannot live in negativity; you can live only in the positive. To live in no is to live as if in death. No is absolutely poor; it has nothing in it; it is impotence. It is absence; it is like darkness. It is empty, hollow. To say no is to remain a beggar; to say yes is to become an emperor.
Nobody can live in a no, but if you have said a false yes, you can think you are living, because you say that you have said yes. That false yes can deceive you. A real no is better than a false yes because a false yes becomes a mask.
For example if you don't love someone, don't say that you love. It is better to say that you don't love; better to accept in deep humbleness that you are unable to love; then there is a possibility some day or other that love will arise, because nobody can live in a state of no-love. But if you go on saying that you love and you love not, then you can waste your whole life. That polite yes, that false yes, that false love, that dishonest love, that inauthentic attitude, can become a cloudlike thing behind which you can go on hiding. But you are wasting your life. Unless you say a total yes to life you will not have lived it to the maximum.
Then you will live it at the minimum.
Say yes, and that is what I call being religious. No is a first step, yes is a second step. Nobody can avoid the first step, of saying no. If you avoid it, the second step will be false because a true yes arises only from a true no.
One who has really been an atheist can become a theist. One who has denied and doubted can attain to faith and trust. One who has from the very beginning believed, will never attain to trust. His belief is a defence. He cannot gather courage to say no, so he says yes. But if you don't have the courage to say no, how can you have courage enough to say yes? Your yes will be dead.
This parable is really beautiful; it carries much implication and meaning in it.
... A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS; AND HE CAME TO THE FIRST, AND SAID, SON, GO WORK TODAY IN MY VINEYARD. HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I WILL NOT... A SINCERE MAN, AND SINCERITY ALWAYS PAYS...
BUT AFTERWARD HE REPENTED, AND WENT.
I tell you, even sinners - that's what Jesus is saying, even harlots and publicans, even sinners - can reach to God, because through their life they were saying no, but nobody can go on saying no eternally. One day or other you become fed up with your no, because you are living a hollow and empty life; one day or other you divorce yourself from your no-saying, you get married to yes-saying; you become a yea-sayer, you become religious.
One day or other you have to drop your doubt, because doubt is a disease. And nobody can remain ill forever; nobody would like to remain ill forever. There is a deep natural urge to be healthy and whole; there is a deep urge to be trusting; there is a deep urge to say yes. Have you watched? Whenever you say yes a certain freedom immediately bursts in you; whenever you say no you shrink.
Whenever you say no you are left alone, cut off from the world. Whenever you say yes a bridge immediately starts spreading towards existence. Say yes and you are related to the world, to existence. Say no and you are cut off, unrelated.
Hate is no; love is yes. Money is no; prayer is yes. People who are doubters, sceptical, go on accumulating money because they cannot trust life. They feel so insecure with life that they find security in money, in something dead. People who love, and who have loved tremendously, loved abundantly, loved totally and said yes to life in all the ways life demands, challenges, people who have always been ready to say yes, they don't gather money. There is no need. Life is such a security. In its deepest insecurity there is security.
In its deepest challenge there is love; in its deepest hardship there is growth.
Once you have said yes you are in a let-go, you have become religious.
WHETHER OF THEM TWAIN DID THE WILL OF HIS FATHER? Even the priests had to say, "The first.'' But up till now they were not aware that the parable was about them. That is the beauty of a parable: you become aware only when the parable has penetrated your heart. That is the beauty of the parable: from the very beginning you are not defensive. You are simply listening to a story, unaware... and indirectly, something is penetrating your being like an arrow.
A parable is like an arrow that appears in the beginning like a flower. You allow it because you are just listening to a story. You are not worried about it; you are not defensive. You are not alert; you are relaxed.
The priests listened to the parable. Even they answered.
THEY SAY UNTO HIM, THE FIRST. JESUS SAITH UNTO THEM, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT THE PUBLICANS AND THE HARLOTS GO INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEFORE YOU.
... BEFORE YOU: the priests, the pundits, the rabbis, the moralists, the puritans, the so-called good guys. But they are so-called; the good has not happened. It is forced, cultivated; it may be a discipline. It gives respectability, it enhances the ego.
Observe, whenever you say no you feel the ego strongly. That's why people say no so much, because each time you say no you feel you are somebody.
Sometimes I have been watching people saying no where it was not at all necessary. A small child asks the mother, "Can I go outside and play?" and immediately she says, "No." He was not demanding anything - just a little sunlight; just with the flowers a little bit, running after the butterflies. He was not asking much, and it costs nothing. The sun is available, free; the butterflies are waiting, because if nobody chases them they don't feel good; and the flowers are there - somebody should come and smell them; they would like to share their happiness with somebody.
And the child asks, "Can I go outside?" And the mother says, "No." And the mother has not even pondered over it, not even for a single moment. No comes easy, as if it is always there, ready. You just say anything and she says no. And she knows well that the child will go out, because he will insist again and again; two, three times he will ask, and the fourth time she will say, "Yes, you go out.
Don't bother me so much." And she knows, and the child knows, but still the no comes. The yes doesn't seem easy.
The servant asks for his pay. You can give him it right now but you say, "Tomorrow." No comes easy, yes seems to be very hard. And whenever you say yes you feel as if you are missing, as if you are helpless.
Just go to the railway station. Ask for a ticket and the booking clerk may be sitting doing nothing. He starts looking in the book. He is saying, "No. Who are you?" He's trying to feel he is also somebody. He can give it right now, but then who will say no?
Look at the policeman standing on the crossroads, no written on his face. Look at people's faces; this is the way to judge who is religious and who is not. If the face says no the man is irreligious, though he may be in the temple praying. If the face says yes, a welcoming yes, then the man is religious. He may not ever have gone to the temple; that doesn't matter.
Yes has to be earned; one has to grow towards it. It's the most beautiful phenomenon that can happen to a man, ever. But that is possible only if you have been honest from the very beginning. If you have been honest in saying yes, if you have been honest in saying no, only then an honest yes can evolve out of it - because nobody can live with a negative attitude. But you can live with a false positive attitude, and that's how you have been living.
I have heard a story about a Hassid mystic. His name is Rabbi Mossey. He was very poor in the eyes of others. Himself, he was an emperor, tremendously rich, infinitely rich, but his richness was of the within.
A beggar came one day as he was sitting with his disciples, and he gave him his last coin. One disciple objected. And the objection was also meaningful, because the man to whom he gave the coin was a drunkard, who would immediately go to the pub. So the disciple said two things: "First, you don't have enough to eat today, and this is your last coin. Now the whole day and the whole night you will have to starve. Second, you have given your coin to a man who is not worthy of it - he is a thief and a drunkard. What do you say about it?"
The Hassid mystic, Mossey, said, "Shall I be more particular than God who gave the coin to me? Shall I be more particular than God? If he can give to me, a worthless man, and has not asked whether I am a sinner or a drunkard, then who am I to bother whether this man is a sinner, a thief or a drunkard?"
This is the quality of a real religious man; he's not condemnatory towards others.
The false religious man is always condemnatory towards others; in fact, he tries to be a moralist just in order to condemn others. He wants to be respectable and he wants to be higher than others. He always wants to look bigger than he is, and he always tries the attitude of 'holier than you'. So whomsoever he looks at he's condemning - his whole morality is just a decoration of the ego.
Remember this: if your morality is just a decoration, and your prayer and meditation just flowers to decorate around the ego so that it looks a little beautiful, then you are not religious. And Jesus is right...
VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT THE PUBLICANS AND THE HARLOTS GO INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEFORE YOU
- because they have said no; and they will repent, and they will feel remorse, and they will not be able to live with the no. Nobody can live with the no.
Try to live with any no - anger, hatred, jealousy, possessiveness - try to live with any no. Just remain with it. Don't try to change it; don't hide it and don't suppress it, and you will see you cannot live. And when you cannot live, you drop them and you start moving towards a yes. The yes is the temple of God.
AND WHEN THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE PHARISEES HAD HEARD HIS PARABLES, THEY PERCEIVED THAT HE SPAKE OF THEM.
But it was too late then - he had made his point clear. And he had not only made his point clear to the rabbis and the priests, he had made his point clear, even more clear, to others who were standing there.
Always remember, ordinary people have more understanding than the so-called religious people, because an ordinary man has no investment in religion. The priest has an investment in religion. He's on guard always. And people like Jesus can be dangerous. If they are heard and their message spreads, then the priest will disappear. Temples will be there, but the priests will disappear. Religion will be there, but the exploitation that goes on in the name of religion will disappear.
The priest is always afraid of the prophet; the priest is always afraid of the mystic; the priest is always afraid of the really religious, the authentically religious person.
BUT WHEN THEY SOUGHT TO LAY HANDS ON HIM, THEY FEARED THE MULTITUDE, BECAUSE THEY TOOK HIM FOR A PROPHET.
Now not only have they understood the parable, but the people who were listening there, they have also understood it. It was so clear. Now it is difficult to lay hands on Jesus. They had tried in every way to stop Jesus. They had wanted to throw him into prison; they had wanted to kill him. They did whatsoever they could, but they were always afraid of the multitude, of the crowd, of the ordinary people - for these are more sensitive; they can see things more clearly; their eyes are not so clouded as the eyes of pundits and scholars, the knowers.
They had to wait for the right moment. They crucified him in the end, but they had to wait for the right moment. And the right moment came, when they could persuade the political power that this man was not talking religion, that this man was not a rebel - this man was a revolutionary. They persuaded the political powers: "This man is not talking about the kingdom of God - that is just a strategy. This man is talking about this kingdom on the earth. This man is not trying to lead people towards God; this man is trying to possess power; the kingdom of this earth, for himself He is against the government."
When they could persuade the government, only then.... And remember, there is always a conspiracy between the priests and the political leaders. They have always been in conspiracy; they help each other. Whenever the politician needs his position sanctified by religion, the priest comes to help. He says, "The king is no ordinary human being. He is an incarnation of God." He says, "He is made king by God himself. His authority is not in himself but in God; he's just a representative of God on earth."
That's how the priests help the king, the political power, and give him an aura of religion and divineness; that's how kings have existed up to now.
And so the priest is in difficulty from the mystics, and both the king and the priest are in difficulty from the mystics, because the mystic is a rebel. A mystic is a rebellion. His very being is so free that he would like to liberate everybody else.
His message is liberation, freedom - total, absolute freedom. The king is afraid; the priests help. The priest is afraid; the king helps.
The priests and the political power both joined together to kill this innocent man who had no power at all; or, his power was not of this world - his power was that of a meek and humble man; his power was that of a realized man. The power is not violent. His power is that of love, what Lao Tzu calls 'the man of tao'. He is powerful, because he is powerless. He is supremely high, because he lives at the lowest point. He's at the peak, because he lives in the darkest valley.
He's great, because hc does not claim greatness. The power of the meek, the power of the humble, the power of the egoless, the power of one who is not...
then the power of God enters. Then he becomes the vehicle for the whole.
The last thing: be alert, because in each of you these three possibilities are all hidden. You can be a priest if you say a false yes and you can also be a scholar accumulating much knowledge and information. The second: if you say no, but cling to it and don't go ahead, if you make your abode in no, then you become an atheist, a doubter. The priest misses because of the false yes and you will miss because of a true no. But if these are the only alternatives, I would like you to say the no, because at least it is true and honest; and through honesty there is some possibility. Be an atheist, but don't be a false religious man.
Then there is a third possibility: that you say an authentic no but don't cling to it; you don't make it your abode. Good, if you rest for a night, but then in the morning start moving - because no will be a suicide. Don't commit suicide with no. Don't be a hypocrite with a false yes and don't be suicidal with a true no.
The third is the right direction. Say an authentic no and go on moving. That is not the end -just the beginning, the first step. And the yes has to be born in you.
If you allow it, it will be born. If you go on moving, observing, living, experiencing, and not falsifying things, looking at things as they are, sooner or later the yes is born; you become pregnant with yes. Then you are the temple.
Then there is no need to go to any other temple. Then God descends in you. In fact, no man has ever found God. Whenever man is ready, God finds him.
Enough for today
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