Chapter 12: Obedience Needs No Art
“Here they are asking, ‘Give us health,’ and ‘Give us wealth.’ Go to the gymnasium and there you will get health, and you will have real exercises. This is not much! And you are right that it looks odd - not my standing here, but you all, doing all kinds of stupid rituals. You are odd. I may be in the minority, but I am not odd.
“And you say for your sake I should participate. Why are you not participating with me for my sake? You all should stand in a line in the corner - that will show that you really want to participate.”
Finally he told me, “It is better you don’t come to the temple, because other people come and they see you, and you are always doing something nasty.”
I said, “What?”.because I was always sitting with my back towards the god, which is not allowed - that is “nasty.” I said, “If the god is omnipotent, he can change his position. Why should I be bothered about it? But he goes on sitting in the same position. If he does not want to see my back, he can move; he can start looking at the other side. I am more alive than your god, that’s why you tell me to change my position; you don’t tell your god. You know that he is dead.”
They said, “Don’t say such things!”
I said, “What can I do? He does not breathe, he does not speak, and I don’t think he hears, because a man who is not breathing, who is not seeing, who cannot move, cannot hear - all these things happen in an organic unity, and the organism has to be alive. So to whom are you praying?”
Slowly, slowly I managed that my family got rid of the temple. It was made by my family, but then they gave it to the community; they stopped going there. I told them, “Unless you explain it to me, your going shows that you are not behaving intelligently.”
So the question is not the story. The story is a simplification of the complicated life situations where explanations have never been given. For thousands of years man has lived without explanations, has lived in obedience, has not questioned, has not doubted, has not been skeptical; has been afraid to, because these are all sins - obedience is virtue.
To me obedience is not virtue: intelligence is virtue. If you follow something because it appeals to your intelligence, it becomes virtuous. If you don’t follow something because your intelligence is against it, it has not to be condemned as sin.
For centuries, the mind of man has been conditioned to obey. I want a society where we will drop all those things which cannot be explained. Then only, obedience can be dropped. I have not removed God without any reason; it is all a connected whole. If God is not removed, obedience remains in religion. Then religion never becomes a scientific approach towards your own interiority.
So anything that cannot be explained should not be ordered. Those things should be taken out of the human mind. But then, what remains of your religion? God disappears, hell and heaven disappear.