I say to you not to believe in anyone, including me. You have to find your own insight, and then follow it. Wherever it leads is the right path for you. Whether anybody else is following that the path or not is not the question. Each individual is unique and each individual life has a beauty in its uniqueness.
Your question is very significant, perhaps the ancientmost question. Man has asked it since the very beginning. And millions of answers have been provided but no answer has been successful. The question still remains. The question is still relevant. That means…Mohammed, Moses, Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna, Rama – what happened to their answers? Their answers have not satisfied anyone. The question bubbles up again and again, and it will continue to bubble up because it cannot be resolved by wrong answers.
And the right answers they could not give, because they were all anti-life. They were all escapists; they were afraid to live.
My answer is: life’s aim is life itself – more life, deeper life, higher life, but life always. There is nothing higher than life.
And a reverence for life is a necessary corollary. If life’s aim is life, then reverence for life becomes your religion. Then respect other people’s life. Don’t interfere in anybody’s life, don’t try to force somebody to follow a certain path that you think is right. You can follow it, it is your freedom, but never impose it on anybody else.
The world does not need any organized religion. The world certainly needs religious people – neither Hindus, nor Mohammedans, nor Christians – the world simply needs individuals in search of deeper and richer life. Not God, not paradise, not heaven…. And as life becomes infinitely deep, it is the paradise; you have entered the kingdom of God. And the doors are within your own heart.
But people are blind, and tradition has been making them more and more blind. Tradition respects blind people, it respects people who don’t think, it respects people who never doubt. It respects people who are not skeptical. It wants people to be just obedient machines. Perhaps machines are, according to the traditional mind, the most religious people in the world because they never disobey.
As far as my insight is concerned, a man who is not rebellious cannot be religious – rebellious against the past, rebellious against organized religions, rebellious against all those people who want to dominate you. And they have found subtle ways to dominate you: “Our religion is the most ancient!” So what? That means your religion is the most rotten! But they are trying to make it “most ancient” so that you feel an awe; if for ten thousand years nobody has disobeyed, there must be some truth in it.
Every religion uses the argument that it is very old, very ancient. Religions which are not very old naturally have to try the opposite argument; for example Sikhism, which is only five hundred years old, or Mohammedanism, which is only fourteen hundred years old. Their argument is, that older religions are older versions of God’s message to man: “We are bringing the latest message of God to man.”