Chapter 8: This Too Will Pass
Religion is not concerned with others, it is concerned with you, absolutely with you. Religion is personal, it is not a social phenomenon. In fact, there cannot be any sociology of religion; there can only be a psychology. Society is a totally different matter; the crowd is a totally different matter - where peripheries meet. Religion is when you are so alone that there is nobody left to be met. In that total, virgin aloneness, the suprememost ecstasy is born. But you have to come to a ripeness.
Remember, ripeness is all. Before it nothing can be done. And you may be thinking that you are ready, or somebody else may be thinking that he is ready; your curiosity may give you a wrong feeling, a notion that you are ready - but readiness only means that you are ready to stake your life; otherwise it is not a readiness.
Religion is higher than life because life is life with others, life is a relationship, and religion is a non-relationship. It is higher than life. It is the capacity to be alone. It is total independence from the other. Unless you are ready to sacrifice life to it, unless you are ready to die completely as you have been up to now, you are not ready. In that readiness, a small message can become so powerful that it can transform you.
Religion is not concerned with others. And, finally, religion is not concerned with scriptures, words. Wise words are there, but for those words you are not the target; they were never addressed to you. Krishna talked to Arjuna; it was a personal dialogue. Jesus talks to his disciples - a small group of disciples, a personal dialogue. He knows everybody; he knows what he is saying, he knows to whom he is saying it. But the Bible becomes dead, the Gita becomes dead.
Religion is not like a broadcast on the radio - you don’t know to whom you are talking, you talk into the air. The face of the listener is not there. The center of the listener is not there, there is nobody. It may be, it is possible, that nobody is listening to the broadcast and you are talking in a vacuum.
Religion is like a personal letter. You write it to somebody and only to somebody; it is meant for somebody. That’s why I have never tried to write anything - except letters. Unless you are here, alive centers, receptive, listening, I cannot say anything; it is impossible. To whom to say it? It is not a dead word. When there is a listener the dialogue becomes alive; then it has a significance which no scripture can ever have.
So everybody has to seek alive masters. You can read the Gita - it is beautiful; you can read the Bible - it is wonderful; but they are pieces of literature - beautiful as literature, poetry, prose, but not as religion. Religion happens only between two persons: one who knows and one who does not know but is ready to know. Suddenly religion is born. This is the third thing.
Remember these three things, then we can move into this story.
A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a position of such magnificence that wise men were his mere employees.