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Chapter 2: Letters

3

One day I went to a temple. The crowd there was engaged in worshipping the deity. The devotees were bowing down before the idols. An elderly man who had come with me said, “Nowadays people do not have faith in religion. So very few people visit the temples.”

I said, “Where is the religion in a temple?” What a self-deceiver man is! He deceives himself by taking as God the idol created by his own hands. He satisfies himself by taking the scriptures - the product of his own mind - as truth.

Whatsoever is the creation of man’s own hands and mind is not religion. The idols sitting in the temples are not images of God but of man himself. And what is written in the scriptures is but a reflection of man’s own desires and thinking, not the truth seen within. It is not possible to express the truth in words.

It is not possible to have an idol of truth, because truth is boundless, infinite and formless. It has no form, no name, no attribute. The moment it is given a form it disappears. In order to attain it, all idols and all physical conceptions have to be dropped; the whole cobweb of self-fabricated fallacies has to be swept away.

That uncreated truth reveals itself only when man’s consciousness is liberated from the prison which his own mind has created.

In fact, rather than building temples in order to reach the truth we should demolish them; instead of sculpting idols we should destroy them. We should drop our obsession with form so that the formless may enter. The moment the manifest leaves our minds, the unmanifest appears. It was there already, but it was hidden beneath the idols and the tangible. Just as we cannot see the empty space in a room stuffed with things - remove those things and the empty space is revealed; it has always been there.

Truth too is like this: empty the mind and it is there.

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