I remember in my own childhood. It was just an accident that I was born in a Jaina family. That is a very ancient religion in India, perhaps the ancientmost religion in the world. But my father was certainly a human being. He used to take me to the temple, but he told me that I need not imitate him. He had followed the ways of his forefathers and he had not found anything. He said to me, “I cannot force you to follow my ways. I can make you acquainted – that this is the way I have followed, these are the gods I have been bowing down to, these are the prayers I have been doing, but nothing has happened to me. I will not insist that you do it; on the contrary, I will insist that unless you feel to do something, never do it.”
I have never followed anybody and it has paid me tremendously.
It has been the greatest benediction to me that can be possible for a human being: not following.
I have tried to remain just myself.
You will need courage. You will need intelligence. You will need a true search and seeking; then only can you risk. Otherwise there are people all around you – they are all salesmen.
Now, Jesus is just a salesman, saying, “Come follow me, because those who follow me will find God, will find heaven and all the pleasures therein. And those who do not follow me will fall into dark hell for eternity.” Now, this man is not going to help anybody. He is exploiting your need for guidelines, your need to find a path; basically, your need to have a certain meaning in your life. And he is promising that, “I am ready to give it to you. All that you have to do is to believe in me, unquestioningly, without any doubt. All that is needed on your part is absolute faith.”
To ask anybody to believe is to cripple his intelligence, is to make him mediocre, is to condemn him to remain an idiot forever.
A Christian cannot ask, “What is God? What is all this nonsense about the Holy Ghost?” And he does not seem to be very holy either. He is a rapist; he rapes the Virgin Mary. And this Trinity: God, Son and Holy Ghost – they have not allowed a single woman in it. Without a mother, the son is born…. In the Trinity there is no possibility for a woman. Nobody has asked, “And what are the proofs that you are the only begotten son?” But you are not supposed to ask, you are supposed to believe. It is a bargain. He will give you, after death, all the pleasures of life; all imaginable fantasies will be fulfilled. And you will be surprised what kind of fantasies these religious people have been offering to fulfill.
Mohammed says in his paradise – and remember, the English word paradise comes from the Arabic firdaus; it is basically Mohammedan – in his paradise, there are rivers of wine. “Drink as much as you want, drown yourself, swim in the wine.” And there are beautiful women available who remain always young, stuck at the age of sixteen. They are still sixteen. Whenever you go, they will be sixteen; they don’t grow. And not only that – because in Mohammedan countries homosexuality has been a very long tradition – Mohammed promises young, beautiful boys also, for the great saints.