Chapter 25: Religiousness, Not Religion
For example, I cannot forgive anybody in the whole world. I don’t see any reason for anybody to be forgiven by me; I am not carrying any wound, any resentment. While my secretary was reading the pamphlet, I tried to figure out that if I have to forgive, whom should I forgive. I was absolutely empty and no answer, no name appeared that: this person I should forgive.because in the first place I have never been in the attitude of resentfulness. I don’t have any enemy in the world. There are millions of people who think they are my enemies, but as far as I am concerned, there is nobody who is my enemy. So if I try to forgive, whom am I going to forgive?
It was really a pleasure to see that society - and it is a worldwide society, and hundreds of cities are members of the society. And they must think they are doing something immensely significant. But deep down they are sowing the seed of ego in you: “Be the first..”
Religion has done so much against humanity, with good intentions. Those people were not functioning with bad intentions, but they were certainly idiots, not knowing exactly what they were doing, and how human psychology functions. They exploited man.
Take, for instance, Jesus’ saying, “Man cannot live by bread alone.” True, absolutely true - because he needs many fictions to live. Just bread won’t do. He needs God, he needs the Devil, he needs heaven, he needs hell and the popes and the church, and prayer and forgiveness. “Man cannot live by bread alone,” Jesus says - perfectly right. Take away all these fictions and suddenly this question will arise: if there is no God, if there is no Devil, then what is religion all about?
All these religions have given you fictions because your psychology has certain needs. Either you go beyond mind - that’s what real religion is - or you create fictions so that your mind does not feel empty, meaningless, lonely; a driftwood with no goal ahead, no source behind.
One of the greatest needs of the human mind is to be needed. Existence seems to be absolutely indifferent to you. You cannot say it needs you, or can you? Without you, things were going perfectly well. The sunrise was there, the sunset was there, the flowers were flowering, the seasons were coming and going. If you were not there, it would make no difference at all. One day you will not be there again, and it will not make any difference at all: existence simply goes on and on. It does not give you the satisfaction that is your greatest need - to be needed. On the contrary, it gives you the feeling that it does not care. Perhaps it does not even know that you are.
I am reminded of one of Panch Tantra’s stories. They are tremendously psychological. An elephant is passing over a bridge on a river, and a mosquito is sitting on the elephant. The elephant is so heavy, and the bridge is just a temporary bridge. Poor villagers make them when the rains are gone and the floods have disappeared, and the river becomes small. They make temporary wooden bridges for themselves. For eight months they are perfectly okay. But it was not made for an elephant because in that poor village nobody could own an elephant. It was just a wild elephant that had come to the bridge, and was passing over the bridge. The mosquito, sitting on the head of the elephant, said, “Uncle, it seems my weight and your weight are too much for the bridge.”