Chapter 3: Religion and Education
And what is the greatest way to apply one’s daredevil courage? It is to seek God, to seek the universal soul. Nothing is more insecure than the path to God. There is nothing stranger, nothing more unfamiliar, nothing more unknowable. What bigger stake, what riskier gamble, what more perilous adventure can there be than seeking the universal soul? I say unequivocably, that daredevil courage is the greatest of qualities, the greatest of virtues. The man who lacks it is not meant for religion and religion is not meant for him.
You have to forsake both good and bad to realize God. Only then will your consciousness rise above differences and establish itself in oneness.
There is one man I have known for many years. He used to chase money; now he pursues religion. But the race is the same. The only difference is that before he was a businessman and now he is an ascetic who has renounced everything. Whenever I hear of things like this I am surprised. In the depths, is not his desire to reach God the same as his former desire to amass riches?
The ways of greed are very subtle, and is not the desire to realize God the ultimate development of greed? Man’s greed is boundless; he is even greedy for salvation. But the fact remains that a man can never become liberated as long as his mind desires to acquire anything at all. The desire to acquire is the fundamental obstacle that stands in the way of liberation. And how can someone who is not free know God? What a man knows when he is liberated is God!
What connection do “I” and “mine” have with truth? Or with religion? How can truth be my truth? How can religion be my religion? Truth cannot be my truth; my truth cannot be truth.
Are you so poor that you have no religion? Worldly poverty is not such a big thing, but having no religion is real poverty. In spite of his gold and riches a man can be poor, but if he has the treasure of religion he can never be a pauper. The greatest thing that can happen to a man is not his worldly success, not his building of empires - it is nothing of this sort - it is his setting out in search of the wealth that lies hidden within him. That riches, is religion. Outer wealth is nothing but soiled banknotes; inner wealth is the only real virtue. Those who seek worldly wealth are really seeking poverty, but those who are seeking virtue are searching for real riches.
What is the meaning of religion? Religion is moving from the mud to the lotus. Wherever there is mud, the lotus is there as well. But what a difference there is between them!