Chapter 39: From Dawn to Dawn, a Wonder and Surprise
The priests don’t know what religion is. The question is out of ignorance - because I have known priests and monks of all kinds of religions; they are the most ignorant people about religion. They repeat like parrots, but religion has not been an experience to them.
The word religion is very beautiful, but because of these priests it has fallen into wrong company. The word comes from an origin which means “coming together.” But the priests have been doing just the opposite. They are creating splits in man, not oneness.
Religion means creating in man an organic unity. It has nothing to do with God, it has something to do with you. It has nothing to do with worship, it has something to do with a transformation of your own consciousness.
There should not be any conflict within you; whatever you do should be done in totality, with your wholeness. Then, whether you are chopping wood or carrying water from a well - it doesn’t matter what you are doing - if you are doing it totally, fully, it is religion. Religion makes man healthy and whole.
But your religions have made man sick, split and schizophrenic. There are reasons for it - because a man who is healthy and whole cannot be enslaved and cannot be exploited. He has an individuality of his own and a style of life of his own. He is neither a Christian nor a Hindu nor a Mohammedan. He is simply a child of this universe, as everybody else is. Nobody is higher and nobody is lower, nobody is a brahmin and nobody is a sudra. But the priests will disappear.
I have heard a beautiful story. In a pub one night a group of friends came and drank alcohol to the full. The shopkeeper was very happy because such people don’t come every day. When one of them was paying the money, he said, “I hope you will go on visiting us.”
The man said, “Just pray for me. If my business prospers, I will be coming every day.”
The man said, “Of course, I will pray morning and evening that your business prospers.” And then suddenly the idea came to him that it would be right to inquire what his profession is. So he asked, “Forgive me, but I want to know, what is your profession?”
The man said, “Don’t ask that. I am a grave-digger! If more people die, my business goes well. If nobody dies, I cannot afford to come to your pub. So pray for my business - don’t be bothered what my business is.”
There are people whose business is grave-digging! Naturally their prayer will be, “God, don’t forget me. I also have to survive. Kill as many people as you can!”