Finally the king lost everything. It was evening. The whole day there had been great excitement all over the capital. The king was stubborn – but now there was no point, he had nothing else to give. He fell at the feet of the beggar and asked him the secret of the bowl. “Is it a magic bowl? It is evening and you have been telling me again and again, ‘By the evening, by sunset, everything will be decided.’ Now it is time. And in a way everything is decided, I have been defeated by a beggar. But you are not an ordinary beggar. All I want to know is, what is the secret of this begging bowl?”
The beggar said, “It is not a secret, it is something everybody knows. Just look closely at the begging bowl. It is made of the skull of a man.”
The king said, “I don’t understand.”
The beggar said, “Nobody understands. Inside the skull of man is his mind. You go on pouring everything in it and everything disappears. It is always asking for more; it is always empty. It is always a beggar, you cannot change it. You can only understand it and get rid of it.”
This is your situation too.
You were thinking that religiousness is something extraordinary, very special, is attained by very special people. It was not your thinking; this has been told to you for centuries. This is the way the whole of humanity has been deceived for thousands of years: religiousness is something so extraordinary, it happens only to special people, prophets, messiahs, saviors, incarnations of God. It is not for the ordinary and the common people. And you have accepted that conditioning. That conditioning is acceptable to the mind because it gives mind an immense scope to ask for more. It gives mind the opportunity never to be satisfied; there must be more.
My whole approach is that religiousness is just like freedom, just like your heartbeat. It is nothing special, it is nothing extraordinary; it is not something to be achieved – there is no question of excitement. Mind is not needed at all. If you are going to achieve something, then mind is needed, then mind’s support is needed; then mind has to think of ways and means of how to achieve it.
But religiousness is your nature. You are born religious. Every child is born religious; it is the society that makes him irreligious, it is the society that corrupts him. It is your religious leaders who are responsible for making the whole of humanity irreligious.
Your religious leaders, your popes, your shankaracharyas, imams, Ayatollah Khomeini – these are all in the service of the devil. They are destroying the innocence of the child, which is the very center of religiousness. They are destroying the pure humanity of the child by making him a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist. They are putting masks on the child, conditionings on his mind; and they are giving you this desire that you have to achieve religiousness – which is a rare adventure.
You have been befooled for centuries.