Come Follow Me, Vol 4, Chapter #2

Reflections on Jesus of Nazareth

Chapter title: Gods in Exile

22 October 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India

Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 4, 02

Come Follow To You, Vol 4 Chapter #2 Chapter title: Between Adam and Jesus 22 December 1975 am in Buddha Hall

The 1st question

IN JESUS' PRAYER 'OUR FATHER', DOES GOD LEAD US INTO TEMPTATION? IT is a very subtle question, and you will have to be utterly attentive to understand it.

God is good. He cannot lead you into temptation, but His very goodness leads you into temptation. The goodness of God is something which is already there. It exists; you have to do nothing to create it. You simply open to it and it showers on you. When you become good you have not done anything; you become good through God. But when you become bad, you have done something; you become bad through yourself. So when you are good, the ego cannot exist. It is a PRASAD, a gift from God.

When you say 'yes', the ego cannot exist; you disappear. In the very moment you say 'yes', you are not there; that is the temptation. Only by doing bad can you be.

Whenever you do evil, you are there; whenever you do good, you are not there - good flows through you, evil you do. Through evil you are, through good you disappear - that's the temptation. Adam means 'no'; Jesus means 'yes'. Between Adam and Jesus is the whole history of human consciousness.

What was the temptation of Adam? Why did he disobey? God was good, but Adam was not there. Through his disobedience he created himself - that is the temptation. In the Garden of Eden, God was there, everywhere. Adam was not there; he was a non-entity, a part of the whole. Through asserting, through saying 'no', through disobedience, through rejecting God, through doing evil, he became himself.

Adam was the first man, not because he was the first man - there may have been many others before him, but nobody said 'no'. So history cannot record them; they had no egos. And this is my feeling: how could Adam have been the first man? There may have been millions before him, but nobody said 'no'. They could not become men, they could not become egos. Adam said 'no'. Of course he suffered for saying that; he was thrown out of the garden of bliss.

Evil leads you into suffering, but it has a temptation: it creates the'I', you can feel that you are. Jesus, Buddha; they are not. Hitler, Genghis Khan; they are. The more evil you do, the more your ego becomes strengthened. The more against you go, against the wind, against the current, the more you feel that you are.

When you flow with the river, where are you? The river is, and the river goes on flowing through you also. God is good-that's the temptation.

Just the other night I was reading a sentence from Baudelaire. It is simply, unbelievably true. Baudelaire says,'The truth is; the truth is beautiful; the truth is good; the truth is God. I believe in it. That's why I am going to oppose it.' From where does this opposition come? Baudelaire says,'If I don't oppose it, then I will not be. I have to say no; only then can I be.' Otherwise, truth is overpowering: it envelops you, it surrounds you. You simply disappear in it, you melt into it.

You can say that you have done evil, but you cannot say that you have done good. Good is always done by God. Good is already there, you are not needed to create it. Evil has to be created. Good can only be discovered; evil has to be created. The reality is there, the dream has to be created. You can claim your authorship about dreams; you cannot claim your authorship about reality - that's the temptation.'No' is very tempting. The very goodness of God tempts you against Him. You have to oppose Him, you have to go against, you have to betray, otherwise you will be lost. Adam says'No', Jesus says'Yes', and I say, this is the whole history of man. Adam is the first son of man, and Jesus is the first son of God. By saying yes, by surrendering, he disappears. Only then, God remains.

In the prayer'Our Father', does God lead us in temptation? God cannot lead you, but you are led by your own mind. A temptation arises because God seems to be destroying you. I come across people every day who would like to say yes to me, who would like to surrender, but they cannot - it is too risky, it is dangerous. I can feel that something in them tempts them not to surrender. Something in them says,'Go away, don't be here. It is dangerous to be here.' It is not that I am tempting them, but they are tempted. Wherever you see something which is already there, nothing is to be done. You have only to recognize it. But then where will you be? - that is the temptation. The ego is the temptation.

The 2nd question

YESTERDAY I HEARD THAT MY FRIEND HAD DIED. YET AS I WEPT, I FOUND MYSELF GIVING THANKS FOR THE SWEETNESS OF LIFE. IS THERE A PLACE FOR MOURNING? If you have loved somebody, really loved, and you didn't miss an opportunity to love, then there is no place for mourning because then there is no repentance.

You never postpone anything, death cannot destroy anything. If you postpone, then death destroys. For example: you love somebody but you say,'I will love tomorrow,' and that's what you go on saying. You go on imagining tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, You go on postponing: you fight today, you will love tomorrow. You are angry here-now, you will love tomorrow. You go on postponing.

Then one day suddenly death comes, and it is always sudden. It gives no hint that it is coming. The foot sounds are never heard, the footsteps can never he guessed. It always comes suddenly, catches you unawares, and the friend is gone, the lover is gone, the beloved is gone; the mother, the father, the brother is gone. Then there is mourning because death destroys tomorrow, and you were depending on tomorrow. Now there will be no tomorrow. Now you cannot postpone, and the person is gone. Now you feel a deep repentance; out of that repentance mourning arises. You are not weeping for the friend who is gone, you are weeping for yourself, for the wasted opportunity.

If you really love, and love here-now, death cannot take anything from you. I say to you: death may even become an opportunity, an opening, a new door.

You loved the friend when he was visible, and you loved him so deeply that you started feeling, through your love, the invisibleness of him. Then death takes the body. Now in that gross element, body is no more there to hinder. Now love can flow totally. You may even feel thankful to death. You were already discovering the spiritual dimension of your beloved, lover, friend, and now death has taken the last obstacle. Now you can see through and through. Death has given you an opportunity to see whether you really loved or not, because if love's eyes cannot penetrate that much so that you can see that which is not body, that which is beyond matter, that which is invisible, then it is not love. Then those eyes may be of something else, but not of love. Love always reveals the God in the other; that's the definition of love. If it reveals the God in the other only then it is love, otherwise it is not. You will be crying and weeping and mourning, and will you be thinking that you are weeping for the friend who has gone? No, you are weeping for yourself, you are crying for yourself.

I would like to tell a very famous story. King Pyrrhus of Epirus was asked by his friend Cyneas,'Sir, if you conquer Rome, what will you do next?' Pyrrhus replied,'Sicily is nearby and will be easy to take.' 'And what will you do after Sicily?' Cyneas asked.

'Then we will pass over to Africa and plunder Carthage.' 'And after Carthage, sir?' 'Greece.' Cyneas enquired,'And what do you expect as a reward from all these victories?' 'Then,' said Pyrrhus,'we can sit down and enjoy ourselves.' 'Can we not,' suggested Cyneas,'enjoy ourselves now?' If you can enjoy yourself now, then there will be no mourning, ever. I am not saying that you will not become sad when a friend departs, but there will be no mourning.,And that sadness will have a beauty of its own, a depth, a silence that always comes when you encounter death. That sadness will be very meditative.

It will reveal something within you that life could not reveal. Life remains superficial; just like laughter, it remains superficial. Death is very deep, like sadness. But sadness is not mourning, sadness has its own delight; sadness is not sorrow, sadness is simply depth. Sadness means that thinking has stopped. How can you think in front of death? Thinking may be useful in life. Life may need your thinking because cunningness, cleverness is needed; but what is the point of thinking in front of death? If you are sad that simply means that suddenly, the thinking has stopped; the death has been a shock - you are stripped to your very depth. You cannot laugh, but there is a subtle delight in it, a silence, a sacred silence. The vulgarity of life is gone, and death has opened a new door; the door of the beyond. You will feel thankful towards death, but this is possible only if you live now. If this moment is lived in its total intensity, in its utter wholeness, only then is it possible.

Don't go on postponing. Tomorrow, tomorrow - drop that word from your vocabulary! Tomorrow does not exist, it CANNOT exist; it is not in the nature of things. Only this day exists.

That is why Jesus says in his prayer,'God, give us our daily bread.' The meaning is: today is enough, we don't ask for tomorrow; give us our daily bread. It has nothing to do with bread, it has something to do with the present and how to live it: give us the capacity to live here and now. Then there is no mourning. Sadness will be there, but that is as it should be. When somebody departs you feel sad, but in that sadness soon you will discover a door: you have fallen to your own depth.

This is what has happened.'Yesterday I heard that my friend had died, yet as I wept I found myself giving thanks for the sweetness of life. Is there a place for mourning?' Don't feel guilty. In fact, this is how it should be. If you have loved the friend you will feel deep thankfulness; not any complaint against death but just a gratefulness for life, for its sweetness. The very possibility is almost impossible: that one exists! Have you ever thought about it, that you exist? It seems so impossible; there is no reason why. But you don't look at it because it has been given to you as a gift.

You have not paid for it. That's why you are unaware, oblivious of it: a tremendous richness, that you are, that this moment you are conscious and alive and you can see the flowers, and you can smell the fragrance, and you can listen to the songs, and you can even encounter a Jesus and a Buddha. The sheer impossibility of it! - just think of it. There is no reason why you are; it is just out of the blue. That is the meaning of the grace of God. If you were not here, there would be no way to be. If you were not here, you could not complain anywhere; there is no court of appeal. If you are not here, you are simply not here; you cannot do anything about it.

You ARE, and you are conscious, and you are full of love, and you are wasting it - a great gift will b wasted. You are not using it, you are not using the opportunity to grow. The more you grow, the greater the gifts that can become available to you. This is just the beginning, this is just the alpha; and you don't know what the omega is. Christ is the omega point. But if you go on living now, deeply committed to life, not postponing, going deeper and deeper and deeper every moment, living as wholly as possible, you will reach to the omega point.

Even at the alpha point life is tremendously beautiful; what to say about the omega point? And you will never find any point for mourning.

If you live it, life is always a deep gratitude. If you don't live it, things go sour, things become bitter: one mourns, one complains, one loses the capacity for thankfulness. Prayer disappears and then you live an angry life or a sorrowful life - that simply means that you have missed. Nobody else is responsible, only you; ONLY YOU, nobody else is responsible. The responsibility is totally yours because you are free to choose - to die, or to commit a slow suicide.

As I see it, millions of people go on simply committing slow suicide. They go on poisoning themselves. Through postponing, you poison yourself. Then, even that which is given to you will have to be taken away. And Jesus is perfectly true when he says this, and it is one of the most fundamental laws of life: that if you have, more will be given to you; if you don't have, even that which you have will be taken away. That is mourning.

Use! Be creative! Let life be a great adventure. The only sin there is, is if your life is not an adventure. Then, you are a sinner.

The 3rd question

THE IMPLICATIONS OF SANNYAS ARE JUST NOW BECOMING CLEAR TO ME. YOUR POWER OVER US BECOMES AWESOME. YOU CAN PUSH US FAR BEYOND THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR PERSONALITIES, YET OUR PERSONALITIES PERSIST, AND I FIND MYSELF FRIGHTENED BY THINGS I AM DOING WHICH SEEM INCONGRUOUS WITH MY CHARACTER. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS FEAR? Yes, the implications of sannyas become clear only when you are a sannyasin, never before. There are many people who would like to take sannyas, who would like to be initiated on the path, but they want to know what it means before they take the jump. That is impossible; nothing can be said to them. They want to be convinced before they take the decision. No, you cannot be convinced because it is not a question of intellect, it is something to be experienced. One knows about it only by being it, and there is no other way.

So those who think that first they need an intellectual conviction will miss the opportunity available. They will miss the door. Sannyas is only for those who are courageous enough to move in the dark, to move in the unknown. Yes, the night is very dark, and the point at which you are standing is such that from there you cannot see any ray of light. In fact, you are standing with closed eyes and you say,'First, convince us intellectually that there is light. Only then will we open the eyes.' How is it possible? - because light can be known only when you open the eyes. How can you prove that light exists to a man who is standing with closed eyes, and who insists, and insists logically,'Why should I open my eyes if there is no light? Why should I make the effort? First prove to me that there is light, then I will open my eyes.' But how can you prove that there is light? The only proof is to see it. The only proof of the pudding is in eating it.

'The implications of sannyas are just now becoming clear to me.' Once you are a sannyasin, by and by, implications become more and more clear.

There are infinite implications. The more you grow, the more they will become clear. It is not going to be an intellectual convict it is going to be an existential conversion - hence the fear.

'Your power over us becomes awesome.' That's one of the basic fears, because whenever you love somebody, the power of the other becomes awesome And THIS is no ordinary love; it is not love of the body, it is ultimate love. Once you fall in love with me you ar. already disappearing. Fear grips you - 'What is going to happen?' - are you going to dissolve completely? The temptation will arise to escape, the temptation will arise to say 'no' to me, the temptation will arise to defend yourself against me.

But this is the paradox: if you defend yourself against me you are destroying yours because then you will remain the old, the repetitive, the rotten. If you don't defend yourself against me, if you open the doors, in the beginning it may look destructive, but soon you will realize that the destruction was just a preparation to create something. Each creation needs to be begun by destruction, an equal amount of destruction is needed. If I am going to create you, totally new, then I will have to destroy you TOTALLY.

Right now, you are just a mechanical thing. You go on repeating yourself, like a gramophone record which is stuck somewhere and goes on repeating the same line again and again and again. Just watch your life: have you not become a gramophone record, stuck? - and the needle goes on moving in the same groove - and goes on repeating the same thing every day: the same anger the same sex, the same jealousy, the same hatred, the same possessiveness, the same greed.

Have you ever done anything new? I was reading a limerick yesterday. I liked it.

There was a young man who said,'Damn, I have just realized that I am, a being that moves in predictable grooves.

Not even a bus, I'm a tram!' Just watch yourself and you will find yourself not even a bus, but a tram: fixed grooves, well-trodden paths, repetitively. And you become more and more efficient in them. You completely forget how to live. It is as if you are being lived by a mechanical life; you are not living it because you are not conscious about it.

It once happened to a man who was travelling by rail: he noticed that another man who was his sole companion in the compartment was behaving in an unusual way. For some time he seemed to be chuckling to himself very happily, and then a serious look would come over his face and he would make a gesture of impatience before resuming his chuckles again. After a while, the first man could not stand it any longer and said,'Excuse my asking, sir, but what is it that amuses you so much?' 'Funny stories, of course,' he promptly replied,'I am telling myself funny stories.' 'How very interesting,' murmured the first man soothingly, and then added,'but every now and then you look very serious. Why is that?' 'That is when it is a story I have heard before.' This is how things go on. If you yourself are telling the story, how can you tell the new story? All stories are heard before; you can just repeat. Your life cannot be a life of newness, of freshness, of morning. Your life is bound to be stale, stuffed with just repetitions; at the most an efficient mechanism, but no consciousness.

So whenever you are ready to take the journey for the unknown, the pilgrimage towards the divine, fear will arise - fear of losing that which you have never had, fear of losing life. Life you have never had - just a mechanical thing: the fear of losing a repetitive efficiency, the fear of losing your old pattern. It may be comfortable and convenient, but it is not alive. There is nothing like death, because death is the most comfortable state of being, convenient. In a grave you will be perfectly comfortable and convenient, and there is no trouble. Life always creates new troubles. Those troubles are not really troubles. If you look rightly, they are challenges to grow.

I am a challenge. Only cowards can escape from he Those who are brave have to make up their minds to move into the unknown, to go in search of that which they don't know. But you feel a deep urge. You feel that some freedom is possible. It is just a vague feeling no but if you move into the unknown, soon it becomes the reality.

'Your power over us becomes awesome. You can push us far beyond the limitations of our personalities.' That's my whole effort: to push you in fact, OUT of your personalities, so that your personality drops. Th personality is nothing but a mask, a PERSONA. It is false It is just a created thing; it is not your reality, it is not your essence. It is just a cultivated thing around you, just a decoration; it is not you. It is hiding you, and because of it you are unable to know yourself, who you are. It has become the only hindrance: layers upon layer of persona, of personality. And you have completely forgotten who you are, the original face. You cannot even remember that you ever had an original face.

My whole effort is to push you out of your personalities. If even for a single moment the personalities drop and you are out of them, as if you were standing nude without your clothes, that one moment will have tremendous implications for your life. You will never be the same again because now you have known your original face, now you know who you are. And once you know who you are, you are total freedom.

Personality is a bondage. It is as if you have become fixed only to being something, and you could have been all things. Personality is a fixed, routine way of being. You could have been all things and you have become just a grocer.

You could have been a painter also, a poet also, a mystic also, and you have just become a grocer! Everybody is born with infinite possibilities, and almost everybody dies by becoming a grocer. Just think! That's why you look so miserable - because you have been infinite and you have become bounded, finite.

'Yet our personalities persist, and I find myself frightened by things I am doing which seem incongruous with my character.' I am against character, because character is a fixity. Character has a solidness about it; it is stony. Character means repetitiveness: you go on repeating yourself - that is your 'character'. When somebody says that you are a good man, what is he saying? He is saying that you are predictable - in the past you have been good, in the future you are going to repeat the same. When somebody says that you are a bad man, what is he saying? He is saying that you are predictable - that in the future also you are going to repeat the same song, you are going to tell the same story.

A real man is always unpredictable. He is freedom. He has no character because each moment he finds a new challenge, each moment he moves in a new dimension, and each moment he looks with fresh eyes. Each moment he responds again and again from a new vision. He is never old; he is always young.

In India we have not depicted Buddha, Mahavir, or Krishna as old men. It is not that they never became old; they became old, but we have not depicted that. Not even a single image of Buddha exists which shows him old. Not that he never became old; he became old, but we know that he never became 'old'. Deep down, he remained always fresh, unpredictable, young, infinitely young. Even on the last day, in the last moments of his life he was young and fresh. Whatsoever he said, the last words that he uttered, they too were as fresh as ever; no old age, no repetition.

Remember, character means a fixity, as if you were already dead. In a drama people have characters, but in life they should not have because a drama is predestined-everything is already fixed: who is who and what is going to happen. Nothing new is allowed: that is the meaning. In a drama there are characters - a Jesus has to be a Jesus. He cannot turn in the middle and say,'I am not!' He has simply to follow, tram-like. He has tc repeat a particular routine.The man who wrote the play has fixed every role; now there is no change possible. In life, there are no characters.

All over the world there is arising a new sort of drama which will not have characters. It will be more true to life. It is a new sort of drama - you can almost call it 'no-drama' - nobody knows what is going to happen. People simply start from anywhere, out of the blue, and there is no distinction between the audience and the stage. There should not be because in life there is no audience and no stage, there is no separation between the actors and the onlookers. The new drama must be played in such a way that if somebody from the audience feels to take part, immediately he jumps into it. And by hi very jump, the drama changes. He will bring something; nobody knows what, and nobody knows where it is going to end.

It is just like life - it begins, it ends, but in fact there is no beginning and no end.

It is always the middle. You came into the world, the world didn't begin with you. You were born on a certain date; the drama was going on, things were already - on the way. You simply came onto the stage, started doing things of your own, and started changing the whole character of the world drama. And then, just in the middle, one day you die, and by your death you again change: your wife may get married to somebody else now, your children will not be the same as you wished them to be - the whole story is going to be different.

Life is like an ocean - wild. Waves upon waves come and go and nobody knows.

And that's the beauty of it. A real man is wild; he has no character. I am not saying that he is not good. When I say that he is characterless, I am not saying that he is evil. You say that a person is characterless when he is immoral; that is wrong. He also has a character, an immoral character. Don't call him characterless.'Characterless' is a tremendously beautiful word - only for a Buddha, or a Jesus, or a Krishna can you use that. Don't use it for ordinary people. Just ordinary people you call characterless. They have their character, they have their fixity, they have their routine of life. They may be bad, their characters may be bad, but they are not characterless. Only a Buddha is characterless. Characterlessness is the profoundest beauty possible because it means: a totally new response each moment. Each moment a Buddha faces life, a Jesus faces life. He does not carry ready-made answers. What he is going to say, nobody knows; what he is going to do, nobody knows; how he is going to act, nobody knows, not even he himself. If he himself knows, then he is just telling himself funny stories. Then it is all foolish.

I don't know what sentence is going to follow this one, I don't know what act is going to follow: this is freedom. Then I am not confined.

I can understand your difficulty. Whatsoever I am doing is trying to destroy your character. That was the condemnation of Socrates. The court in Athens had decided that he destroys the character of young people. It was absolutely true! That was the evidence against Christ also: that he destroys the character of young people. It has always been so. A Socrates, a Jesus, they are destroyers of character. Not that they are creators of immorality - they bring the greatest morality there is: the morality of freedom, the morality of spontaneity. The only moral act is that act which is spontaneous, which comes out of your totality and is not just from your head. I will be destroying your character.

People say the same thing against me, that I am a dangerous man. I am! They are perfectly true. My whole effort is in how to destroy your character so that at least you can become a bus, so that you don't move on rails. You can have a little freedom.

Fear is natural. I am not saying that you can drop that fear, but there is one thing that I would like to say: in spite of the fear you can come with me. And that is the only way. If you wait, that once you have dropped the fear then you will come and follow me, then you never will. Follow, in spite of the fear. Let the fear be there, it is natural; but don't follow it, follow me. The fear is there, human, natural - but come, follow me. By and by, the more you become attuned to the inner freedom the inner sky, the fear will disappear because through this characterlessness you are growing, you are becoming more mature, you are ripening. Now the morality will not be forced from outside, it will flow from your inside. It will be your inwardness, it will be your own understanding and consciousness. It will not be a conscience any more.

The conscience is given by the society; consciousness you have to achieve. The society goes on telling you,'This is right, and that is wrong' - that is conscience. It becomes ingrained, implanted in you. You go on repeating it. That is worthless; that is not the real thing The real thing is your own consciousness. It carries no ready-made answers: what is wrong and what is right, no. But immediately, in whatever situation arises, it gives you light - you know immediately what to do.

And that doing is total. That act is total because it is not being done because the society says so, it is done because you know it that way. In that moment the decision takes shape; it comes out of your innermost core. This is freedom, and this freedom is the goal. Don't stop before you have attained it.

Fear will be there. There are many hazards on the path: many times you may go astray, many times you will feel tired, exhausted, many times you will find excuses to sit by the side of the road. But remember again and again, that unless you have attained to that consciousness which can act spontaneously, you have not fulfilled your being. You are betraying God, you are betraying the Whole.

And how can you be happy, how can you be blissful if you betray the original source? Then you will remain miserable. Your misery is just an indication that you are not doing the right thing, and the right thing is not what is said by the society to be right. The right thing is that which you come to understand through your understanding. Be a light unto yourself - that is the right thing.

The 4th question

I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WON'T BE ON EARTH WITH US FOR SUCH A LONG TIME ANYMORE. YESTERDAY AT DARSHAN YOU EXPLAINED TO SOMEBODY THAT THE BODY CANNOT CONTAIN YOU, YOU WILL EVAPORATE, AND AFTER THAT YOU CAN'T BE OF ANY HELP ANYMORE.

THIS CONFUSES ME ALL THE TIME. I USED TO CONSOLE MYSELF WITH THE WORDS OF JESUS,'I WILL STAY WITH THEE UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD.' PLEASE MAKE THIS MORE CLEAR TO ME.

Jesus is right, but I am righter than Jesus. Jesus is right, but because of his saying people could not use the opportunity when it was there. They consoled themselves. He is true; even now he is with you, even this moment he can help you. But when you miss Jesus when he is present, how can you use him when he is absent? Just look at the absurdity of it. You say,'Yes, we will take your help when you are absent,' and you cannot take the help while he is present. Only those who can take his help while he is present will be able to take his help while he is not present. And you always like consolation. I don't want to give you any consolation because all consolations become postponements.

Yes, I repeat Jesus' saying: I will also be with you till the very end of the world - but I don't want it to become a consolation for you. I can be with you only if you are with me now. If you are with me now, I can be with you to the very end of time, but you have to fulfill a certain growth in yourself. Otherwise you will say,'Okay, if you are going to be with us to the very end of time, then there is no need to hurry; we can fool around a little. And whenever we need, you will be available.' No, this is not going to be so. That's why I say that Jesus is right, but I am righter than him.

Try to understand: I am not here to console you. If there is anything that I am here for, it is to transform you.

Consolation is worthless; it is a trick of the mind. Don't settle for it. It is just like a mother who doesn't want to give her breast to the child, and she gives the child anything, just his own thumb in his mouth, to console him. That gives him a certain consolation, but no nourishment. He is simply deceived. Or you can get pacifiers from the market and give the child a pacifier. Just a rubber breast - he goes on sucking it thinking and believing that something is going to come out of it. Nothing comes out of it.

Consolation is a pacifier, it is not real nourishment. I am here; be nourished by me. Eat me, drink me; be nourished by me. Let me become a part of your being, then I will be available forever and forever. There is no other way.

The fifth question:

The 5th question

MY LITTLE SON WAS NEVER BAPTIZED. WILL THIS BE OF IMPORTANCE 7 It is very important! It is good that he was never baptized because baptism is such a significant thing - it cannot be forced upon anybody. When you force it on a child you are creating an artificial religion for him, and if that artificial religion remains there he may forget all about the real religion. He may become a Christian and he will miss Christ.

Good, your child is fortunate. Blessed is he who is not baptized by his parents - then he is available, clean and clear. Whenever he becomes ripe enough, when he becomes aware, then he can seek his religion.

A religion is to be sought. A religion has to be chosen consciously. Nobody should be made a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Jain by birth.

Birth has nothing to do with religion. Because of this association with birth, the whole world seems to be religious, and nobody is religious. Everybody is religious: somebody is a Hindu, somebody is a Christian. Nobody is a Hindu and nobody is a Christian - people have been befooled.

Leave children alone. Never impose any religion on them. Don't condition their minds. Leave their enquiry free. Help so that they can enquire, but don't give them answers. Help so that their questions become very penetrating, help so that they can ask intensely, help so that someday they can ask so intensely that their very intensity becomes a transformation, but never give them answers. Readymade answers are very deceptive. Religion has to be lived, religion has to be chosen. It is a commitment - how can you commit for your child? Who are you to commit for your child? Help the child to grow, love him deeply, and don't give him answers which you don't know yourself. If he asks,'Is there a God?' tell him the truth, that you don't know! Tell him the truth, that you are seeking; tell him the truth, that he has to seek himself; and tell him that if someday he finds, he has to tell it to you also. Be humble. Before the child, the temptation is great in the parents to be knowledgeable - that is foolishness. You don't know anything about God and you go on teaching the child, you go on conditioning his mind.

Don`t condition anybody's mind. Leave him - intact, untouched, virgin. One day....

Because religion is such a deep urge, it need not be taught. Through the teachings the urge is corrupted. It need not be taught. Leave him to himself, love him. Through your love he will create the opportunity to understand prayer someday. Love him, and through your love he will become aware that existence must be a mother to him, a father to him. But don't talk about the Father who is in heaven, just be a father to him. Your being a father will have given him the first glimpse that the existence is not alien, that somebody takes care, that somebody loves. Love him, mother him so that he comes to feel that existence is a mother. Through your care through your love, through your mothering let him become aware of certain qualities in existence. Don't talk theology - it is rubbish.

Don't go on telling him,'Pray.' Wait, let the right moment come, but help the situation so that he becomes capable of prayer. Don't teach him the words of the prayer. Just create a situation in the family: the atmosphere of prayerfulness. The father prays, the mother prays, and when the child sees father praying he can feel the delight that comes on his face. He can see that he is transported to some other world. He can see that after prayer, for hours he is a totally different person - more loving, more soft and delicate. He can see that after prayer there is an after-glow that follows the father the whole day.

There is no need to teach anything. One day you will suddenly find when you open your eyes after your prayer, that your child is sitting by your side - deep, somewhere else, his eyes closed. He does not know the words, but now he understands the feeling, and that is REAL baptism.

Don't force him to go to church because church will corrupt him, and he will start thinking that religion is nothing but a business. He will understand by and by, that religion is nothing but politics.

All mystics, without exception, know that all religions are true; all philosophers, without exception, know that all religions are false; and all politicians, without exception, know that all religions are useful.

Don't teach the child the politics of religion. Leave him intact, alone, but give him an opportunity, a milieu, an atmosphere, a climate where he can feel in touch with what religion is. Then he will be religious. He may not be a Christian, but that is pointless, that is meaningless. He may not be a Hindu, but he will be religious. But parents are more interested that the child should be a Christian - he should follow the same foolishness that they have been following. The child should be a Hindu - he should be corrupted in the same way they have been corrupted. The child should have an identity of belonging to some organization - - the same that they belong to. This is the politics of religion; it is not religion at all.

If you really love your child, will you want him to be a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan? - no, never! If you love your child you will never want him to be a Christian. What has Christianity done to the world? - it is an ugly dis-ease.

You will not like him to be a Mohammedan. What has Mohammedanism done to the world? - it has been just violence. You will not like him to be a Hindu because what has Hinduism done? - it is just a fossilized death: stale, dead for centuries, a corpse; it stinks. No, if you love your child you will make him aware not to fall into any trap, not to be trapped because there are enemies all around: the priest, the missionary, the temple, the church. You will make him aware,'Don't be trapped by anybody. Remain free, remain loving, search and seek and find your God. The God that you find is the only God. The God that is taught is not God; it is just a word. And when you have found YOUR religion, it is not separate from life, it is one with it. It is life itself!' And remember when I say that life is God, I don't mean life with a capital L, no; but just with a lower-case l. Just ordinary life is God.

A journalist just a few days ago asked Jean-Paul Sartre,'What is the most important thing in your life today?' Sartre said,'I don't know. Everything: to live, to love, to smoke.' This is a Zen kind of answer. Sartre is not a religious man but the answer is very religious. He has never belonged to any church, he does not believe in God, but the answer is religious.'I don't know' - that is the first religious quality of it because only foolish theologians know. A religious man is simply aware of his tremendous ignorance. Life is a mystery; how can you know it? He knows only one thing, that he does not know.'I don't know!' - ask any priest, he cannot say that. He will immediately open his Bible and say,'Here is the answer. I know.' And he is simply repeating borrowed knowledge. He is a parrot.

Once I went to Varanasi and a great scholar of the Vedas invited me to his home.

He was very happy to show me his parrot, because the parrot could recite many things from the Vedas, from the Gita, from the Upanishads. I laughed. The pundit said,'What's the matter? Why are you laughing?' I said,'I am laughing because I don't see any difference between this parrot and you. The parrot is a scholar and you are a parrot.' He has been angry since then.

No, a theologian can never say,'I don't know.' One needs courage to say that.

One needs real guts to say,'I don't know.' One needs a certain realization to say that one doesn't know. And everything, when you lead a religious life, everything is beautiful, everything is important. There are no pigeon-holes, there are no categories. You cannot say that something is more important and something is less important. If you live a religious quality, all things are important: a dog is as important as God, not a single bit less important.

Somebody asked Joshu - a Zen Master, a rare being; the person who asked must have been a sceptic - he said,'Joshu, I have heard that you say that God is in everything. What about a dog?' Nobody has answered this way: Joshu jumped on his four legs and started barking. He said,'I am a dog, and also a god.' Joshu barking is God barking.

Then there is no difference. Nothing is small and nothing is great. The smallest carries the greatest, and the greatest carries the smallest; then the lowest is the highest, and the highest is the lowest; then the valley goes to the peak and the peak comes to the valley. That is the meaning when I say that sex is samadhi and samadhi is sex. Then there is no difference between the low and the high.

Everything! - to live, just to live today is the most important thing. To love, and to smoke.... Such an ordinary thing, to smoke, but when a religious man smokes he smokes religiously; there is no other way.

Once a man came to me. I was in Calcutta. The man was a follower of Paramahansa Ramakrishna, but he was worried about one thing: Ramakrishna used very vulgar words, like 'son-of-a-bitch', like that. Ramakrishna used very vulgar words. So he was very worried. He said,'Everything is good, but Ramakrishna seems to be a little... vulgar. What do you say, sir?' I said,'His vulgarity is religious. Even when Ramakrishna says 'son-of-a-bitch', it is a blessing. Yes, it is a blessing because whatsoever he says is purified by his saying it. Even a vulgar word becomes sacred; the touch of a Ramakrishna transforms it.' So I told him,'Don't be worried. Wherever Ramakrishna treads, it becomes holy. If he goes to a prostitute's house, that becomes a temple. Because it is not a question of an outer house or an outer world, it is the quality that you bring to it.'To smoke,' Sartre says,'is the most important thing today.' Yes, I also say that smoking can be as beautiful and sacred as chanting - it is a chanting in smoke. It depends on you.

In Zen monasteries they have a small tea-house, like a temple. Whenever somebody enters the tea-house, he has to be very aware because the goddess of tea resides there. The goddess of tea - then why not the goddess of smoking? The nicotine is the same in tea as in tobacco.

I have just instructed Laxmi to make a small temple for smoking here in the ashram. But you have to go very alert, aware, meditative! If you can smoke meditatively, it is perfectly beautiful. If it stops by being meditative, that too is perfectly beautiful. Life is sacred.

So don't teach a child Christianity, HYinduism, Jainism. At the most, give him a milieu, if you love him, so that he can grow a sensitivity towards what religion is in its essence in its purity. Don't teach him about so many flowers, just let him become sensitive to the fragrance of it - that will do. THAT is baptism.

The last question, and the most important - it is from Amitab:

The 6th question

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

So what am I to do? - blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Enough for today


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