There is much confusion around the world, so let me explain to you. And be very patient because we are all conditioned by the religions of prayer. Their weight is heavy; every human being is crushed under a mountainous weight. And the work for a master has become more and more difficult, because it is not only a question of helping you to be meditative: before that can start much has to be negated in you, much rubbish has to be shoveled out, much dirt has to be cleaned off. The whole past has to be dismantled, only then will you be able to open your wings to the essential, mature, adult dimension of religion.
Prayer means fear, hence all the old religions are fear-oriented. Their God is nothing but a creation of their fear; it is not a discovery, it is imagination, it is projection. They are full of fear; they need a father figure to protect them from all kinds of fear. And there are thousands of fears in life: there are anxieties, anguishes, problems to be encountered, insoluble puzzles, unbridgeable gaps, and man is surrounded by great darkness. He needs a protective hand. He wants somebody as a security, as a safety.
Each child is brought up by parents. His first experience with the parents becomes very decisive, because he is protected, comforted, consoled. All his needs are fulfilled, he does not have to worry, he has no responsibilities, he is taken care of. He can rely on the parents. But this is not going to be so forever: sooner or later he will have to stand on his own feet.
The moment he stands on his own feet a great trembling arises in him: now who is going to save him? Now who is going to console him? And the problems go on becoming bigger and bigger every day. As life progresses it starts coming closer to death, which is the ultimate problem to be solved. And there is great anxiety about death.
Each child starts falling back, each child starts going back to the childhood state because that seems to be the only part of his life where there was not a single problem at all. This is regression.
This regression has been thought of as prayer; it is not prayer. Then he falls on his knees and starts praying to a god…
It is not accidental that all the religions call God “the Father.” Yes, there are a few other religions which call God “the Mother” – which is the same. In matriarchal societies God is the Mother, in patriarchal societies God is the Father. One thing is certain: that God has to be the ultimate parent.
And then every community, society, civilization, invents its own God; they say, “God created man in his own image.” That is absolutely wrong – man has created God in his own image. And because there are so many kinds of people in the world, there are so many images of God.
But that image is your fabrication; you are praying before your own invention. Prayer is really one of the most absurd things possible. It is as if you are praying before a mirror, seeing your own face, kneeling down before your own image, asking for favors, and there is nobody in the mirror except your reflection. All prayers…prayer as such is juvenile, it is regressive.
It will hurt you but I cannot help it: I have to say the truth as it is.