Chapter 10: Religion Is the Ultimate Luxury
Buddha was born as a Hindu. Hinduism became the prison. He tried hard to get out of it, and he succeeded. Krishnamurti was trained in a certain discipline, was an inmate of a prison called theosophy, but he tried hard, broke out of it, became free of it. If you ask me I will say one thing: if there had been no theosophical imprisonment for him in his childhood, it would have been difficult for him to become a free man. Annie Besant and Leadbeater and other theosophists created the whole situation - unknowingly, of course, they were not meaning it. They were trying to do something else. They were creating a dogma around him, a cult around him. And they were so hard upon him that it became really impossible to live in it. He had to get out of it. The credit goes to those people - Leadbeater and Annie Besant.
If the prison had been a little more comfortable, if the prison had not been so hard and if the discipline imposed had not been so arduous, if the ideals had not been so superhuman, if he had not been asked to play a role so unnatural to him, he might have relaxed, he might have accepted it. That’s what has happened to you.
A Christian remains a Christian because Christianity is no longer a great pressure. On Sunday you can go to the church - it is a formality. It remains the life of a nonChristian. You go on fulfilling the formalities of being a Christian. Your Christianity is not even skin deep, and the church does not demand much. The church says, “You just come on particular days to the church: when your child is born come to the church for the baptism; when somebody dies, come to the church; when there is marriage, come to the church - these three things will do and you will remain a Christian. Sometimes on Sundays come and participate in the ritual.”
Nothing much is asked. The prison is not much of a prison. It is almost as if you are free, only on Sundays you go to the jail and sit there for one hour and come home and you are again free. Who bothers? Who will fight against it? It is so convenient and comfortable.
That’s why so many people are Hindus and Mohammedans and Jainas - nobody is asking. These religions are just formal rituals; they don’t challenge you. Nothing is at stake. Very difficult to get out of them - because the prison is very lukewarm. You have become adjusted to it. It is so convenient and comfortable that you have become adjusted to it. It looks almost like a good policy, a good compromise.
Krishnamurti fell into the hands of a very fanatical group - theosophists. It was a new religion. Whenever a religion is new, it is very fanatical. By and by, it relaxes and compromises and becomes just a social phenomenon; then it is no more religion. Theosophy was just in its beginning, and Krishnamurti was only nine years old when he fell into the hands of those fanatics. They tried hard. They wouldn’t allow Krishnamurti to meet and mix with ordinary children, no, because they had a goal that he had to become the world teacher, jagatguru. He had to become the coming Buddha; he had to become the incarnation of Maitreya.