The woman said, “No, never.”
St. Peter could not believe it. “Were you married?”
She said, “No, I have never been interested in sex.”
“Have you been with any man?”
She said, “No, I am a virgin.”
And so on, and so forth. And St. Peter looked into the records; they were all empty. She has not committed any sin, but how can you do something virtuous if you have not committed any sin? He became worried.
The woman asked, “What is the matter? I am a virtuous woman.”
St. Peter said, “You have lived under a wrong notion. To become a saint, one has to become a sinner. The record is completely empty. Now I have only one question to ask: Where have you been for these thirty years?”
She said, “What do you mean?”
St. Peter said, “You have been dead for thirty years – you should have reported earlier! You have not lived.”
Your so-called saints will have to face the same thing. They have not lived – and that I call irreligious. To deny the opportunity that existence has given to you is to be irreligious. Not to live it in its totality is to be irreligious. If existence has made you in such a way that the sin arises in you, don’t be worried too much. There must be a significance in it; it must be part of your growth.
The Bible story is beautiful:
God said to Adam, “Don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.” He played a trick on Adam. That was a way to provoke him, certainly – you cannot find a better way of provoking. The garden of God was very big. Left to himself Adam would not yet have discovered the tree. Just think. Such an infinity of God’s garden that Adam, left to his own wits, would not have been able to discover it. God must have known it. Christians don’t interpret it that way, but I know God played a trick. He befooled Adam. Immediately he said, “Remember, never eat the fruit of this tree.” Now this tree became a constant obsession. Now Adam will not be able to sleep well. In the night he will dream of the tree. And when God has said so, there must be something in it. And God himself eats from that tree! This is impossible. This is like a father who smokes and goes on telling the child, “Never smoke. This is very bad, and you will suffer.”