If a man can be authentically a zorba he is not far away from being a buddha. He has traveled almost half the path. And the first half is the most difficult because all the religions are against it. All the religions drag you somewhere else, away from the first half; and once you are dragged in some other direction you can never be a buddha – because only this way goes to buddha.
Zorba is the way to Buddha.
If you are taken somewhere else – you become a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jaina, a Mohammedan – then there is no hope of your ever becoming a buddha. You have been distracted from your nature; You have been taken away from the harmony between you and existence; You have been turned unnatural.
A pagan is natural – as natural as trees and birds and rivers and mountains.
Why don’t you ask me, “Does a flower need religion?” What will the poor flower do with religion? The flower blossoms. Its fragrance is released. The flower dances in the wind, in the sun, in the rain. That’s its religion. What else is needed? A dance in the rain, in the sun, in the wind…what more do you want? Your fragrance released to all directions…what more do you want? – because this is fulfillment. You have matured, blossomed. You have come to your ultimate peak. There is nothing higher than that.
This is the religion of a flower.
A Zorba is a bud, a Buddha is a flower; but you can distract the bud, you can destroy the bud – and millions of buds are being destroyed all over the world. They never become flowers, they never come to know what it means to blossom.
To blossom is ecstasy.
When the flower opens its petals it is just like a bird opening its wings into the sky.
When the flower starts sharing its innermost treasure of fragrance with all and sundry, there is tremendous contentment. One has arrived.
The Zorba is a bud.
Yes, a bud should not remain a bud, but the bud needs no religion. It needs to go on growing the way it has been going on. The way, the same way as it has become a bud – it has to go on the same path – and the flowering will come of its own accord. And remember, when flowering comes of its own accord, it has a beauty, a grace. When it is forced, then it is just painted – make-up – but not beauty.
In Buddha’s time there was one very beautiful woman; she was a prostitute, her name was Amrapali. I remembered her at this moment because she never used any make-up. Ordinarily prostitutes use more make-up than anybody else; in fact, prostitutes always use make-up, and the older they become, the thicker becomes the make-up.
Amrapali was so beautiful. To indicate that – that she was so beautiful – the scriptures say that she never used any make-up. There was always a queue in front of her palace, of kings, princes, the super rich. It was very difficult to get permission to enter her palace. She was a singer, a musician, a dancer.