The second thing: religion is not in the scriptures, cannot be. Scriptures are dead letters. Yes, there was religion some day, throbbing in those words when they were being uttered by an alive master. When Krishna told Shrimad Bhagavadgita to Arjuna, it was alive. It was alive because of Krishna, it was illuminated because of Krishna – when Krishna disappeared, the Bhagavadgita became a corpse. Dead words: you can go on analyzing those words, interpreting this way and that…There are one thousand commentaries on the Gita – famous ones; there are many more. In fact, whenever anybody reads the Gita, he has his own meaning of it. Krishna’s meaning is lost; it disappeared with Krishna himself. The snake has passed…only the track on the sand is left. That track you go on worshipping as a scripture.
When Jesus walked on earth and talked to his disciples, it was a throbbing truth, throbbing with life – alive, vibrating, pulsating. The word was not dead; the word was God, the word was truth itself. The word had a heart in it. The word was suffused with love, experience, existence, being. When Jesus has gone, life is gone. Then you can collect words and you can make as many gospels as you want. Those gospels are going to be of no help.
Real religion is never in the scriptures. And a real religious seeker does not go in search of scriptures, he goes in search of a master– a living master. That is one of the basic tenets of Kabir’s understanding: satguru – the living master. Go and search for a living master! If you can come in contact with a living master then dead scriptures will become alive again. They become alive only via the living master– there is no other way, because the living master is the only scripture. When the living master touches the Bhagavadgita it will become alive; when he touches the gospel, the gospel will become alive. When he recites the Koran, the Koran will again become alive. He will give his own life to these words, they will start throbbing. But directly you cannot find religion in the scriptures.
So religion is not in the tradition and religion is not in the scriptures and religion is not in the rituals. Rituals are formalities. Unless you are in communion with a living master, rituals are a dead weight. They will burden you, they will dry you, they will kill you, and you will be lost in infinite formalities. With a living master, a new ritual is born. It comes out of the contact; it has a context to it, a living reference to it. It is not learned by dead tradition being transferred from one generation to another. You live it – and through living it, you learn it.
When you come to a living master, deep down something in you wants to bow down. It is not that you are going to do a certain formality – if you are doing, it is meaningless. But something really down in your spirit, deep in your spirit, deep in your center, wants to bow down. Then bowing to a master is no more ritualistic. It is alive, it is meaningful, it is not an empty gesture. But you can just go on bowing down to anybody, because you have been taught to bow down – then it is useless. Try to see the difference. When something is born into you out of your spontaneity, then it is true. When you have to do something as a duty, it is untrue. Duty is a dirty word. If something is born out of love, good. If something is born out of duty, avoid it, never do it – because that is dangerous. If you learn the ways of duty too much, you will forget the ways of love. Duty is against love. Duty is a false substitute for love.