Chapter 4: Religion Is Individual Flowering
Religions have existed, particularly in the East - Buddhism, Jainism - which don’t talk about God at all. But then they cannot talk about prayer, and they cannot talk about love. The moment they drop the idea of God, of a personal God, of a creator, of somebody there who can look at you, hold your hand, embrace you; the moment they drop the idea of a personal God, they have to drop the idea of prayer as a corollary, as a necessary corollary. Worship has to be dropped, prayer has to be dropped, singing, dancing have to be dropped. For whom do you sing, and for whom do you dance? There is nobody, only stony eyes all around.
And existence is so vast.. You say, “Why not call it ‘is-ness’?” How will you relate with “is-ness”? It will be so vast, you will not be able to embrace it.
With the “he,” God becomes as small as you are. You can hold his hand. The hand of “is-ness”? - it is not possible. With “he,” he becomes warm. “Is-ness” is cold, existence is cold. You will freeze! Jainism, Buddhism dropped the idea of God because of these problems - philosophical, philological; problems that arise out of language and grammar and logic. They dropped the idea, the very idea. But then prayer disappeared, and Jainism became poor for that. Meditation remained. A very lonely effort.
Have you seen? - you can meditate alone, you can pray together. Prayerfulness is a communion. Christians, Mohammedans, Jews - they know what prayerfulness is. Jainism and Buddhism completely lost track of prayerfulness. And prayerfulness has a beauty of its own. A meditator seems to be closed in himself, he has no opening. He is thrown to himself in a deep aloneness. He can become silent, but he cannot become ecstatic.
Ecstasy happens only when there are two, love happens only when there are two. When you are alone you can be silent, still, but you cannot be throbbing with joy, you cannot dance. The Sufi dances because he calls God; he can invoke God in a personal way. Jainism and Buddhism became very poor. And when Buddhism spread out of India, it started talking about Buddha as a god - and through Buddha, again prayerfulness entered. Prayerfulness never entered in Jainism, and Jainism could never spread. It remained a very tiny sect, dead. It is inhuman.
Is-ness, existence, totality - big words, but dead. They don’t pulsate. How do you relate with totality, tell me? How will you call totality? How will you connect yourself with totality? You will be too tiny, and the vastness of totality is so big, you will be lost.
No, God has to be conceived in a human way. To call him “he” is very human. Yes, by and by, when you approach him, you learn him, you imbibe him, one day there will be no need to call him “he”: you can drop that. Once the contact is made, once your boundaries and his boundaries are no longer separate, when your boundaries and his boundaries have blended into one existence, then there will be no need. You can simply bow down without even using a single word. You can simply sit in silence and prayerfulness will be there. You will be praying without any prayer. But that is a later development. In the beginning you will be at a loss if you don’t call him by any personal name, if you don’t make him personal.