Chapter 2: Religion Is Rebellion
The first question:
I have heard that the German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, declared on television that sannyasins were very dangerous people for the state and society, and should not be engaged for public service or by respectable companies any more. Lots of Germans are television-watchers and behave according to what the politicians say.
In fact, I don’t want to have anything to do with society, but, by being regarded as an enemy of society, I don’t enjoy the idea of not getting a job because of my orange clothes or being molested by people on the street, as they very often become aggressive toward outsiders.
You said that sannyasins are meant to be a provocation for the world, but do you want us to fight or to go underground? And do you think it is cowardly that I am considering staying in India not only to be close to you but also to avoid these troubles?
It is good news! The politicians become afraid only when something really significant is happening - and they are becoming afraid all around the world. It is a good sign. It is immensely beautiful that my sannyasins are not being ignored. That’s the ugliest thing that can happen to anybody.
What the German Chancellor has said is right: sannyasins are very dangerous people! Religion is always dangerous; the moment it is not dangerous it is no longer religion at all. Jesus is dangerous, Christianity is not dangerous - hence Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus. Buddha is dangerous, Buddhists are not dangerous. They have turned against their master; they have compromised with the society, with all that is rotten, dead, traditional.
It is bound to be so if you are trying to live life authentically, lovingly. Then the politicians are bound to be against. They have created a society which is based on hatred, violence, division, distrust, cunningness, hypocrisy. To be religious simply means to be against all these things.
To be religious means to live a life full of love, joy, innocence, freedom, individuality, to the extent that even if life has to be sacrificed for the higher values of freedom, love, truth, then one sacrifices it joyously. It is worth it! Freedom cannot be sacrificed, bliss cannot be sacrificed, love cannot be sacrificed, and life is significant only if these things are flowering, blossoming. The moment these things are sacrificed there is no point in living. Then life is simply vegetating.