Chapter 10: 'The Death of Religion: A Great Historical Event
I hate the word ism. And because I was silent Ma Anand Sheela managed to compile a book Rajneeshism. That was not my book. I have never read it - the question of writing does not arise. And today you have seen that is has been cremated. It is an event of great rejoicing, because I don’t want to belong to all those criminals who have given you holy books - no book is holy. All books are just books, either they are good or bad, well written or not well written. How a book can be holy. But once you call a book holy, you become blind. Just look in Holy Bible, there are five hundred pages of sheer pornography. This is your holy book. And this is the book kept in the courts; and you have to take oath on a pornographic book? I don’t want to add anything into this ugly literature. My books are simply books - just as I am simply a human being.
I am not a savior. That is so humiliating to human beings. I am not a messenger; I am not a prophet. Nobody has ever been a savior. Jesus could not save himself even. And what guts, what nerve. He calls himself the shepherd and the whole humanity, sheep. And there are millions of people who don’t feel even insulted.
To what degradation human mind has fallen? Don’t you have any pride of being human? I want to restore your humanity to you and the only way is that I should not be in any special category. I am amongst you, just like you an ordinary human being. With a little difference, very little difference: you are asleep, I am awake. It is my own fault. I am not condemning you. If I can’t sleep, whose fault it is? Not only that I am awake, I go on trying other people to wake up. The reason is: because I have known sleep and I have known all the sweet dreams and all the nightmares, but I have also known the beauties and the blessings of awakening. And I would like to share my experience to everybody.
Hence I am not your leader, you are not my follower. Just being friends is enough, more than enough. Perhaps only in friendship something can transpire between me and you. Only in loving sharing perhaps you may wake up.
I don’t have any catechism, no theology, nothing for you to believe in. I have taken away all psychological nonsense. I have taken away God from you, because that is nothing but a small child’s desire for the protection of the father; it is retardedness. Only retarded people believe in a God; only greedy people believe in heaven; only cowards, people full of fear and paranoia believe in hell. I have taken all those things from you: there is no God, no heaven, no hell.
I want to share only one thing with you, which does not make you a religion, but it certainly makes you a new kind of man. I call that methodology, meditation. It is an inward journey. You have to go alone on it. The crowd cannot go with you. As you go deeper within yourself. Just by witnessing your thoughts, your emotions, your feelings a tremendous mutation happens: thoughts stop, emotions disappear, feelings evaporate, all that is left is pure awareness. And that awareness is your flowering, your ultimate reach beyond which there is nothing. You have arrived home.