With no God, no Devil, what is religion all about? Does a sannyasin need a religion?
Religion has nothing to do with God, the Devil, heaven and hell. The word religion has to be understood. The word is significant: it means putting the parts together, so that the parts are no more parts but become whole. The root meaning of the word religion is: to put things together in such a way that the part is no more a part but becomes the whole. Each part becomes the whole, in togetherness. Each part, separate, is dead; joined together, a new quality appears, the quality of the whole. And to bring that quality into your life is the purpose of religion.
It has nothing to do with God or the Devil. But the way the religions have functioned in the world, they have changed its whole quality, the very fabric. Instead of making it a science of integration, so that man is not many, but one…. Ordinarily you are many, a crowd. To melt this crowd into one wholeness, so that everything in you starts functioning in harmony with everything else within you, and there is no conflict, no division, no fight – nobody higher, nobody lower, you are just one harmonious whole….
The religions around the world have helped humanity to forget even the meaning of the word. They are against the integrated man, because the integrated man does not need God, does not need the priest, does not need the church. The integrated man is enough unto himself. He is whole. And to me that makes him holy – because he is whole. He is so fulfilled that there is no psychological need for a father figure, a God somewhere in heaven taking care of you. He is so blissful in the moment, you cannot make him afraid of tomorrow. Tomorrow does not exist for the integrated man. Only this moment is all – neither there are yesterdays nor tomorrows.
You cannot manipulate the integrated man through these childish, stupid strategies: “If you do this you will attain to heaven and all its pleasures; if you do that you will fall into hell and you will suffer for eternity.” The integrated man will simply laugh at all this nonsense.
He has no fear of the future, you cannot create hell; he has no greed for the future, you cannot create heaven. He needs no protection, nobody to guide him, nobody to take him somewhere. He has no goals, no motivations. Each moment is so complete that it is not waiting to be completed by another moment which will come sometime in this life, or maybe in the next life…. Each moment is full, overfull, overflowing, and all that he knows is a tremendous gratitude for this beautiful existence.