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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 3
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Chapter 5: Freedom Contains All

But the so-called religious person goes on demanding. Maybe he has lost his father, his mother. And everybody one day or other loses them. It is not really that your father dies, then you lose him; the moment you become mature, you start moving on your own, the father is lost, the mother is lost - and the childhood illusions are lost. And then great fear arises: up to now you were protected by your father, cared for by your mother. Now who is going to protect you and who is going to care for you? The sky seems to be very cold, indifferent, existence seems to be utterly neutral; it does not care this way or that, whether you live or die doesn’t matter. A great fear arises in one’s being, a trembling. Søren Kierkegaard has exactly called it trembling; in that trembling he thinks religion is born. Yes, in that trembling religion is born, but that religion is pseudo, that religion is not true.

Religion is born when you are centered, rooted, not trembling. Religion is born in great understanding, not in fear. Religion is born when you start feeling that existence responds with love, that it is not uncaring, that it is not cold; that it is very warm, that it is very welcoming. It is our very life - how can it be uncaring towards us?

But the so-called religious people go on asking God for protection; hence God is called “the great protector.” The religious people go on asking God for eternal life because they are trembling; they are scared of death and death is coming every day closer and closer. Soon it will encompass you, it will drown you in darkness. Before that you have to find a secure ground, a home. That becomes your search for God.

Buddha is not interested in such a search. He says rather than listening to the ill, pathological mind and going according to it in search of God, it is better to drop this pathological mind. It is better to drop this whole pathology, be free of it - because in that freedom is seeing, in that freedom is knowing.

Free from mind you become a knower. You become so absolutely certain of immortality, of timelessness, of deathlessness, that there is no need for any God to protect you - you are already protected. In that protection you bow down to existence in gratitude. In that protection, in that caring, in that love that goes on flowing invisibly from the universe towards you. It nourishes you every moment. It is the universe that you breathe in and out, it is the universe that flows in your blood, it is the universe that becomes your bones, your very marrow. The moment it becomes your own experience, you have become religious.

And now you know that God is, but this is a totally different God. It is not a father figure - it is not a figure at all. It is not a person but a presence, a loving presence overflowing the whole cosmos. Now it is not a person controlling, a dictator dictating. It is not like the Old Testament God who says, “I am very jealous.”

Buddha says: “God and jealous? Then who is going to be beyond jealousy?” Buddha says even man has to become non-jealous, only then will he be able to know God. But can it be a condition that you have to become non-jealous and then you will know a jealous God? Can it be a condition that to know a jealous God first you have to drop all your jealousies? That would be very illogical! The Old Testament God says, “I am jealous, I am angry. Those who don’t listen to me will be condemned forever!”

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