In reality only a charlatan – at the most a teacher – can enjoy the idea of being a savior, a prophet, a messenger. Only someone who is taking advantage of your weakness can say to you, “Just believe in me and you are saved” – be a Christian and you are saved, be a Hindu and you are saved; surrender all your responsibility to Krishna or to Christ and you will be saved. It looks very cheap, very simple; you are not losing anything and gaining everything.
That’s why a man like Jesus Christ could say to you, “I am the shepherd and you are my sheep.” And not a single man stood and opposed him – “What are you saying? You are insulting our humanity. You are the shepherd, and we are just the sheep!” But for two thousand years not a single Christian has raised his hand to say that “I am not ready to become a sheep” – for the simple reason that he is ready to be humiliated, because Jesus is saying, “If you are my sheep I will save you. You have nothing else to do but to be a sheep.”
Nobody thinks about the fact that by reducing human beings to sheep you are not saving them, you are destroying them. You are destroying their integrity, you are destroying their self-respect and you are making them slaves. And the bargain is a promised paradise after death.
Nobody comes back to say if these saviors are helping anybody or if they have just cheated, lied, exploited and destroyed human dignity. And you rejoiced, because all responsibility was taken by them. The bargain was not bad; you just have to be a sheep, a believer. You just have to be a follower. You are not to be yourself, you have to be just a shadow. You have not to walk a path on your own, alone; you have to follow the footprints.
Kahlil Gibran has a beautiful story.
A man used to teach: “I am the savior. Whoever is ready, just come and follow me.” But people have so many other things to do – somebody is going to get married, somebody’s wife is pregnant, somebody’s father is dying, somebody’s business is going into bankruptcy. People think, “Some day, when everything is settled, we are going to follow; right now it is difficult.”
The man went on from town to town, city to city, declaring, “I am the savior. Whoever wants to be saved, just come and follow me.” People listened, nobody objected – because the man was saying, “If you have any doubt just come and follow me and you will see that you are saved” – but everybody was busy.
A life is such that it is never complete. A thousand and one things are always incomplete. If death were to wait for you to complete your things, nobody would have ever died. But death simply comes, without giving even a week’s notice. So you have to leave all things incomplete.
But when it is a question of your choice, you would like first to clean up the whole mess that you have made of your life – which you can never clean, because it is you who is the maker of it. Even by cleaning it you will be making more mess – sorting it out, you will get more time to create a few more stupid things: you will start loving the neighbor’s wife…one wife was mess enough, now there are two women. And life is so accidental that nobody knows what shape it is going to take the next moment.