All the religions, God-oriented or not God-oriented, have been teaching man to renounce life. They are anti-life, they are against everything that can make you a whole person. Not only physically, not only psychologically, but spiritually too. They have been cutting you into pieces, and they have been trying for centuries, insistently, to enforce the idea of renouncement. This is not a right approach to existence.
The moment you start renouncing, you start shrinking. Rather than growing, rather than becoming vaster and infinite, you start shrinking into yourself. You lose all interest in existence, in love, because you are told to torture yourself. Renunciation from the world is another name for self-torture. And a man who is torturing himself – how can you expect him to dance? How can you expect him to be ecstatic? He is committing a slow suicide.
God-oriented religions, and not God-oriented religions – both are going to disappear.
Religion is an individual matter; it has nothing to do with collectivity. It is not a social phenomenon, it is very private, absolutely private, your innermost affair. Even love is not that much private, because at least two persons are involved in it. In meditation, nobody is involved – only you are. It is absolutely individualistic.
I teach you to be individuals.
Never belong to any organization, never belong to any holy scriptures, churches, temples. Never belong to any monastery. This whole existence is available for you – rejoice in it, celebrate in it.
No religion teaches celebration; they teach celibacy! I am absolutely against celibacy and all for celebration. I am making every effort to bring a new approach towards life which the past humanity has missed – a new freedom, a new sky to open your wings. All religions have been cutting your wings, putting you into cages and making you believe that this is all that life is. There was a reason for them to do this. Unless you take away people’s individuality and destroy their wings and their freedom and cut their roots of nourishment, you cannot enslave them. It is impossible to create armies and wars; it is impossible to make millions of people suffer in poverty – they would have revolted long ago. But religions are keeping them subdued by the fear of God, by the fear of punishment in hell, and by the greed that if you follow their commandments you will be rewarded immensely.
I have told you about this man Salman Rushdie. The way Ayatollah Khomeini and the other religious leaders of Iran have behaved…ordinarily people think that this is very strange from a religious man. I want to tell you this is not – this is what religions have been doing for centuries.
Mohammed himself carried a sword his whole life, killing people, and he has given the name Islam, to his religion, which means peace! And on his sword was written in letters of gold, “Peace is my message” – on the sword!