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Chapter 9: I Teach a Religionless Religion

These two were quarreling and they could not find a way to settle the argument, so they both thought it would be better to look for Shiva; perhaps he might be helpful. So they went to look for Shiva. Shiva must have been American - it was morning and he was making love to his wife, Parvati. Indians don’t do that; that is absolutely unheard of. I think Shiva is the first American - making love to his wife in the morning, with the doors open. Perhaps it would be better to call him Californian - doors open! Just American will not do.

Brahma and Vishnu both entered, not knowing what was happening inside, and Shiva was so much into his act of making love that he didn’t bother about them. Both were very angry. In the first place, making love in the morning does not suit a god; secondly, with the doors open, anybody could come in. And thirdly, he does not even tell them to sit down; he has not even looked at them. Both the gods were very angry, so angry that they cursed Shiva, saying, “You will be known in the world by the phallic symbol.” That’s why in India you find no statue of Shiva, only the phallic symbol. This is the curse of those two gods: “You will be known and recognized as a phallic symbol.”

You may not be aware that shivalinga, the phallic symbol for Shiva, is not alone; it is placed in a vagina. Both are in marble, and for thousands of years Hindus have been worshipping it. And still Shiva is one third of God!

You can take any other conception of God and you will find it impossible to make a religion around it. But up to now this has been the case. The fiction of God is there in the center, and around the fiction all other fictions have been created: of heaven and hell, sin and punishment, repentance and forgiveness. And this whole circus is nothing but exploitation by the cunning priests of all the religions.

Yes, without God there can be no priest. Without God there can be no concept of sin. Without God there can be no heaven and hell. Without God there can be no temple, no synagogue, no church.

If you think these are the things which make a religion, then of course you will find it difficult: how can there be a religion without God? But these things have nothing to do with religion. In fact, to me these are hindrances to finding religiousness.

And let this be another shock to you: the authentic religion is going to be Godless - and also religionless. I am teaching you a religionless religion.

You will have to go a little deep into this because the words seem to be contradictory: religionless religion. When I say religionless religion I mean that the priest, the synagogue, the rabbi, the pundit, the pope, the church, the prayer, the holy scriptures, the holy and unholy ghost - all these have to be dropped because this is what you have known as religion.

The holy scriptures are nothing but religious fiction, just as there is science fiction. And it is beautiful to write science fiction; it is art. Those religious fictions are not even artistic; they are ninety percent rubbish, crap. Nobody reads them except a few people who have some vested interest in reading them.

I have heard:

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