I call every organized religion stupid, because true religion can never be organized. True religion is always individual, it has nothing to do with the crowd. A Jesus can be religious but not the Christians. The Christians are only carbon copies. They have forgotten their own originality, their own individuality.
Jesus was not following anybody. He was not imitating anybody. That was his fault, that he did not allow the society to exploit his trust. He did not allow the crowd to reduce him into a false personality. He remained an individual.
He risked his life but he did not compromise with the society. It was better to die on the cross than to live as a hypocrite. At least on the cross he was true, authentic – himself.
In the crowd, he would have lived, but not his own life. He would have been a cog in the machine – without any individuality, without any intelligence of his own, without any realization of truth, significance, beauty and the immense grace of existence.
He could have saved his life but in fact, that would have been crucifixion. He accepted being crucified – that was saving his life – fearlessly, trusting in existence, without any anger against the crowd. Even at the last moment on the cross, he was praying for the crowd: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing. They are unconscious people. One cannot expect from unconscious people anything more.”
He was only thirty-three; a long life was ahead of him. But this is the beauty of the man, that he sacrificed that long life which would have been meaningless, false, pseudo, for something authentic, real – without any complaint, without any grudge against anybody.
First, the parents exploit the child because he cannot even conceive that they will be deceiving him – and it is not that the parents deceive the child intentionally. They are unconscious. They have also been deceived by their parents.
Every generation has been corrupting every new generation. The parents don’t know whether God exists or not, but they pretend before the child as if God exists; they take him to the church, or to the synagogue, or to the temple. Neither they know nor their rabbis and their bishops and their priests know.
It is a very mad world. Blind people are leading other blind people. And nobody raises the question: where are we going and why?
From the very beginning I refused to believe in anything unless I was convinced. Everybody was irritated with me – and I was not doing any harm to anybody. They wanted me to go to the temple. They wanted me to touch the feet of somebody they thought was a saint.
I said, “I don’t have any objection. I can touch his feet. I can even touch his head, but at least I must know why I am doing it. What qualities has this man got?”
And the replies I got were so ridiculous…”Because this man has renounced the world.”