Chapter 19: A Simple Thank You
People deep down have always loved it when somebody tortures himself. You have to understand the psychology of it: renunciation is nothing but torture. The man had lived in immense luxury, ultimate comfort, and he renounced it. People have always respected those who choose an uncomfortable life, those who are not forced to be poor and beggars but who have willed that they should remain as a beggar. And when a royal king becomes a beggar of his own choice, he gains respectability.
You have never respected a poor man who renounces his hut and his poverty. That’s why you don’t have a single Hindu incarnation coming from a poor family. You cannot respect; you will ask, “What have you renounced? In the first place you have nothing to renounce.”
The Jainas have not a single tirthankara, not a single prophet amongst their twenty-four who was not a king. And Buddha was also a king. All three religions of this country are from royal families. And they were respected more than they would have been respected as emperors.
People were not happy with this idea of “becoming a light unto yourself.” Nobody wants that responsibility; everybody wants to throw the responsibility on somebody else’s shoulders - a savior, a prophet, a messiah. It feels very good - he has taken all your responsibility. Now you have nothing to do, just worship Jesus Christ, worship Rama, Krishna.as if worship is the medicine for all your diseases, as if it is a panacea.
You have been worshipping for thousands of years and you are going down and down in misery. Every day more darkness, every day more anguish, and you never think that your whole idea of religion may be wrong. That’s why you are suffering. Religion is meant to help you to become blissful, but the situation is totally different. Everybody is religious: Hindu, Mohammedan, Jaina, Buddhist, Christian - everybody is religious. But why then is the world suffering so much that thousands of people have to commit suicide just out of misery?
No savior has been of any help; all their promises have proved false. That’s what Gautam Buddha is saying - be a light unto yourself. Don’t throw the responsibility on anybody else. Take the responsibility, because it is by taking the responsibility on yourself you become mature. Otherwise you will always remain retarded, childish.
The religions who worship a God as father indicate it immediately. Why do you call God “father”? Psychoanalysts of different schools agree on this point that people are calling God the father just to get rid of the responsibility. They want to remain childish; they don’t want to grow up.
Growth means responsibility.
Growth means freedom.
And growth means that whatever happens to you, it is your doing. Neither is your faith against you, nor are your past life’s evil acts, karmas, against you, nor is God trying to make a fire test of your trust. All these are bogus excuses! The reality is that you have not tried to change your life, to change your vision, to change your consciousness. You have not taken the realms of your life into your own hands! The only misery is that you are not a master of your own being.