Chapter 4: Just Drop the Cross!
Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor.” This is sheer nonsense. Wretched are the poor. But it gives solace to the millions of poor people of the world. Jesus says that those who are poor here will be able to inherit the kingdom of God. I do not understand the arithmetic. If they are going to inherit the kingdom of God, why should they be poor here? Why can’t they inherit it here, now?
I say to you: the kingdom of God is yours herenow, this very moment. Just drop the cross. My religion is very simple: drop the cross. You have carried it long enough, for thousands of lives; it has almost become part of you.
So when you see someone dancing and you are crippled - crippled because of your cross, you are dying under its burden, and somebody is playing on his flute - you cannot forgive this man. He makes you aware that you have missed the train, that you are a fool. Nobody wants to accept himself as a fool - except a wise man.
The moment you accept that you are behaving foolishly, the change starts beginning. It is your responsibility. I have never seen any miserable man for whom anybody else was responsible. It is your conditioning.
Jesus says, “The camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but not a rich man.” The animals, the camels, are going to inherit the kingdom of God, remember; they will pass through the needle. But a rich man cannot pass through the gates of God. They have taught you to remain poor, they have given you all incentives to remain poor.
My religion is a religion of richness.
Why wait for tomorrow? Why wait for a lifetime, in which you cannot be certain of inheriting the kingdom of God after death, and for that, suffer your whole life here? I say to you, forget God and forget the kingdom of God. I give you here and now! Just be ready to drop your conditionings. You are not handicapped, you are not crippled. Every child is born a joy, a celebration, a dance, a song; but somewhere he loses it all. That’s why all the poets of all the languages go on remembering how beautiful it was to be a child.
What was beautiful in being a child? I cannot say that, because I have been becoming more and more blissful; childhood was just the beginning. If an old man says that his childhood was paradise, that means his whole life has been a hell. He has not been growing up, he is going down. Just to grow old is not growing up.
Growing up is a totally different phenomenon. It means the last moment on the earth for you will be the most precious moment. The departure from this life will be the climax of your joy. Childhood is only a beginning.
But the religions start distorting the children from the beginning. They create guilt in them, they create unnatural ideals in them. They create their conscience in such a way that they cannot live happily ever. On every point they are at a crossroad, and they will choose the road that suits their conditioning.