Chapter 4: Be Assertive!
But religion is not a tradition, spirituality is not a tradition. If there had been no Krishna, I could still be; it does not matter. I am not standing on the shoulders of Krishna or Buddha or Jesus. I am standing on my own feet just as they stood on their own feet.
Buddha denied the Vedas; that was the tradition - Hinduism. He denied it absolutely. He was utterly against the Hindu scriptures. Any man of understanding is bound to be against the scriptures, because truth cannot be contained in the scriptures, truth cannot be expressed through words. And what can scriptures have? - only words, theories, hypotheses, assumptions. Buddha said, “Get rid of all the scriptures if you want to know the truth.” Naturally the Hindu priesthood was against him. Buddha was not standing on the shoulders of the past giants, in fact he was denying them. He was saying, “Get rid of them, only then can you be your own self.” That’s the beauty of religion.
Science is borrowed; it is information, and information has to come from others, That’s why science can be taught in schools, colleges, universities, but religion cannot be taught. Religion can only be caught, it cannot be taught. It is like an infection: when you are with a buddha you can get infected - if you are not too resistant, if you are not too much on guard.
If you remain vulnerable with Jesus, with Zarathustra, with Lao Tzu, something of their being can penetrate your being. The being of the master can overlap the being of the disciple. A moment comes when the master and disciple start merging into each other; that is the moment when something miraculous transpires. It is not information, it is transformation.
So religion is not a tradition: it is a heart-to-heart contact, it is a love affair. Christianity died with Christ; since then it has been only a cult.
The cultists in Holland are trying to inquire about religion! When I am dead it will be a cult, but while I am alive it is religion. That’s my definition of a cult and of a religion: a religion means while the experience has still a heartbeat to it; a cult is a corpse, the heartbeat has stopped. It looks the same, but it is no more the same. It is only a concept, a philosophy; the life has departed. It is only a cage - maybe a golden cage, but the bird is dead, the bird is no more alive. It will not sing any more - or you can put gramophone records in it. That’s what priests are: gramophone records. They go on repeating.
Friedrich Nietzsche is absolutely right when he says that the first and the last Christian died on the cross two thousand years ago - the first and the last Christian. Christ was the first and the last Christian. Buddha was the first and the last Buddhist. After that it is only footprints on the sands of time.you can go on worshipping.