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Chapter 1: Love Is the Master Key

If religion happens as your own experience, you will always find this distinction: your religion will be life-affirmative. You will say yes to life, and you will say yes totally. You will become a yea-sayer, and through that yes, godliness enters in you.

If your religion is just a conditioning - borrowed, cheap, a substitute, imitative - then it will be life-negative. You will be afraid of living, you will feel guilty, you will always be confused about what to do and what not to do: “Is it right? Is it wrong? Is it good? Is it bad?”

Borrowed religion never goes beyond morality. Authentic religion is amoral; it is always beyond morality, good and bad. It knows no distinctions. If you understand this, you will be able to understand these beautiful sutras of Kabir. He is not a Hindu, he is not a Mohammedan, he is not a Christian. He is simply an authentic man, and his sayings are some of the purest sayings in the world. And he is not worried about anything - whatsoever he has felt he has said, without any compromise.

Before we enter into the sutras, two or three more things. One: down through the centuries, religion has existed as a renunciation of life: “Escape from life, life is wrong. Become a monk, an ascetic, drop out of life” - as if to be alive is a sin, as if to be alive is a punishment. That’s how so-called religious people have always been thinking: you are sent into life because you have sinned in your past lives. You have been thrown here to be punished - that is the Hindu concept. The Christian concept makes you an even greater sinner, because Adam disobeyed God - so every man, from the very beginning, is a sinner. You are born in sin.

Buddhists go on saying that life is a bondage so get out of it, the sooner the better. Escape from it! And down the centuries only one prayer has continued all over the earth, and the prayer has been: Don’t send us again into the world.

Kabir says: I am not for renunciation. If God creates the world, the world is beautiful. If it comes out of God, it is beautiful; it cannot be a punishment, it is a reward. This is a very revolutionary statement - that the world is not a punishment, the world is a reward; that God has not thrown you into a dark and dismal cell, it is a celebration. God has loved you so much that he has created this world for you to play with, to dance with. It is a celebration.

Kabir is not for renunciation; he’s all for celebration - one thing. The second thing Kabir says: Life is in community. Life is a communion, so don’t try to escape from the world, and don’t try to remain in a solitary life, because the richness is in the community; you are enriched by the community, by your relationships. The more you are related to people, the more you are rich. A solitary person living in a Himalayan cave is very poor, impoverished - because rivers of relationships don’t flow in him; he becomes a desert.

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