Chapter 6: Here, Too, Are the Gods
A man who has known himself has also come to know that millions are the paths, millions are the faces of the truth. How can he be bigoted? How can he say, “Only my truth is true, and only my god is God; your god is a false god”? This is the language of one whose truth is borrowed. You see millions of religious people all over the world claiming truth. They have not come to know, they have not searched themselves; otherwise how can they miss? How can they miss the multifaceted experience, the phenomenon of truth? How can they say, “Only my truth,” because when one comes to know that there is no “I,” how can one claim? How is bigotry possible?
A really religious man has no claim. He accommodates., he does not tolerate because when you say, “I tolerate,” there is intolerance. He does not say, “I am a Christian, you are a Hindu. Yes, I am a man of tolerance, I tolerate. You may also be true; I am true, you may also be true. I tolerate you.” But tolerance always hides intolerance; the very word is intolerant. So whenever a person says, “I am tolerant,” be aware he is intolerant, he is hiding. What do you mean by your tolerance? You think that you are somewhere higher and you are tolerating those who are lower, pitying them. Or, at the most, a Christian will say, “Yes, there are many ways, but my way is the best. Yes, people have reached by other ways also, but mine is the super highway.” That, too, is intolerance. Why this claim? Why this “I”? Why this ego?
And that’s why religions became so quarrelsome. They have murdered, they have killed, they have committed all sorts of sins. They are here to liberate man, and they are here to take man beyond all sins, yet they have committed all the sins. Religions have killed more than anybody else, and they have created misery and strife and struggle and conflict more than anything else on this earth. This earth is ugly because of so many churches, temples, mosques. They have not united man, they have divided. They have not made humanity one. They talk about love, but they have created hate. They talk about peace, but they create all sorts of causes for violence to exist. They feed violence and they talk about peace. Why? The reason is not religion; the reason is bigotry.
Bigotry is the sacred disease.
Diseases are bad, and when they are sacred they are worse of course. When a disease looks as though it is sacred, you think it is the ultimate in health. Whenever someone claims, “I am the only truth,” and the claim can be made in very subtle ways, then ugliness enters. These mad people have even forced their gods to say things which look absurd. Mohammedans say, “God says, `I am the only God, and Mohammed is the only prophet.’” What do you mean? Is God exhausted in Mohammed? Then God is very poor. Then what about Mahavira? Then what about Buddha? Then what about Jesus, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Heraclitus? And what about all of you who are some day or the other going to become the prophets? What about the whole? Mohammed is beautiful, but Mohammedans claim that he is the only prophet, and then ugliness enters. Jesus is wonderful, but Christians say that he is the only begotten son. Why the only begotten son? Then what are all of you - bastards? If he is the only begotten son, then what is this whole existence? From where do you come if he comes from God? Then who is your father?