But the organized religions don’t want you to be aware of this fact, because their whole business depends on an outside God. Then the priest is needed, the temple is needed, the mosque is needed, the church is needed; then the Holy Bible is needed, then some interpreters are needed, and then all the millions of priests around the world become your mediators with a fictitious God somewhere in the sky.
The Vatican pope has declared it a sin to confess directly to God; you have to confess to the priest. And of course it has to be a catholic priest – only he is authorized to have a direct communication with God. You cannot pray directly, you cannot ask forgiveness directly.
Do you see the cunningness, the meanness, the whole strategy of exploitation? The priest becomes more important than God himself. On the one hand these people go on calling you children of God, and on the other, children cannot directly communicate with their father; a priest is needed as a mediator. The reality is, there is no God outside; it is the invention of the priest. And he has invented a great business. For centuries he has been exploiting men, whether they are Hindus or Mohammedans or Christians or Jews – it does not matter.
There is only one thing every religion insists: that a direct relationship with God is not possible. They don’t give any reasons why. I have seen trees praying directly to God; the rivers and the mountains and the stars don’t have any priests, the flowers and the birds don’t have any priests. Do you think this whole existence except man is not related to God? It is more related to God than man. It is only man who has gone astray.
Have you ever heard in any religion, in any country, a story that God expelled a few trees out of the garden of Eden? Or a few animals, or a few birds? It is only man who is expelled. The story is significant. It simply means that the whole of existence is rooted in God. Only because man has a thinking mind, he has wandered far away. Mind is capable of wandering anywhere – you can be sitting here and your mind may be wandering somewhere in America or somewhere in Germany, or somewhere in Japan, or maybe on the moon…. There are all kinds of lunatics.
It is very rarely that you are here, very rare to be in the place where you are. Your mind is always wandering somewhere else. It is never here, it is never now. This wandering mind has taken you away from your own inner being. And this has become a great opportunity for exploitation. All over the world, like mushrooms, priests and religions and holy books have appeared.
There are three hundred religions in the world. They differ on every point except one point, and that is, the priest is an absolute necessity. Any intelligent person can see that these religions are not for you, these religions are for the priesthood. They are parasites – Catholic parasites, Protestant parasites, Hindu parasites, they come in all sizes and all shapes!
My effort here is to make you free from the chains of the priesthood. The moment you are free from the chains of the priesthood, you are no longer Christian, no longer Hindu, no longer Jew. You are simply and purely human beings. You have already come very close to your home; the priest was distracting you.