And when people came to know that he had got the second prize, he was so ashamed of himself. He said, “I have been such an idiot to enter into it in the first place. I entered because I thought that I was going to be the first, without question.”
So you have the possibility of pretenders posing qualities, values, characters, which are not real. Inside they are just the opposite kind of people. Criminals become saints – it is easy; you just have to practice certain values, certain disciplines which are expected from a saint. Who cares that you are carrying a thousand and one criminal tendencies within you? People only see your face; nobody dives deep into you.
So the whole society has become a very strange phenomenon, almost weird, and everybody is suffering. The person who is pretending to be a saint cannot enjoy it because his whole being is against it, his whole nature is against it. He is continuously fighting a battle with himself, and there is no greater misery than to be continuously in a fight with yourself. So those who are honored, respected citizens – you will never see them joyful, cheerful, rejoicing. They are always sad, and to hide the fact of sadness they call it seriousness: that they take life very seriously.
And the other part of humanity, which has decided to go with its natural feelings, is condemned; they become criminals. In the eyes of the religions they are sinners; they will fill the space in hell reserved for them. In life nobody will respect them, and after life also. Even their God is not capable of accepting his own creation.
If anybody is responsible, God is responsible. Only one person is responsible for all the sinners. There is no need to send everybody into hell – just throw God into hell and that will do, because he is the sole cause.
And these hypocrites, these phony people who are showing something but are not what they are showing, can they also cheat existence? Can they also cheat God? Here they are respectable, but will they also be in paradise after life, enjoying all the pleasures? We have put such tremendous pressure on poor human beings to destroy their integrity, to create a split in them.
My approach is totally different.
First, I want you to accept yourself as you are. That’s how existence wanted you to be. You have not created yourself; naturally the whole responsibility goes to existence. And there must be a need for a person like you; otherwise, you would not exist. Existence needs you as you are.
The first principle of an authentic religious man is to accept himself as he is, without any judgment – and only from there does your authentic pilgrimage begin.