Hence they don’t talk about a God somewhere sitting in the seventh heaven. They talk about a totally different God – rooted in you, rooted here in the earth, rooted in this body, rooted in these emotions – lust and love, rooted here in tension and stress. The God of the Bauls is a very real god. You can touch him, you can love him, you can embrace him, you live with him, you can live him. It is not far away, it is very close; closer than close, because it is you. They don’t use the word god at all. Their word for god is adhar manush, the essential man. Man himself is divine. If you enter yourself you will be entering God. If you enter this world you will be entering God.
This does not mean that there is no God. This is a radical standpoint, but not negation. It is a very revolutionary attitude, but not negative. It does not mean that God does not exist. In fact, it means that God exists herenow, and the responsibility is yours to discover him. And there is no alibi, there is no excuse to postpone.
In China, Taoists have reached to the same viewpoint: they dropped the very word god. They started using the word chi’lan. Chi’lan means nature; that is God. Chi’lan means that which happens of itself, that which is already happening, that which has always been happening and will go on happening. That is the meaning of the word tao also. In the Vedas, Hindus have a beautiful word: they call it ritam. That is exactly what Tao or chi’lan is. Ritam means nature, not God – because whenever you say “God,” somehow it is always somewhere else, not here; at least not in you, not in your neighbor. The earth seems to be not worthy enough for God to be here.
Jainas and Buddhists use the word dhamma – that exactly means nature. The Sanskrit word dharma also means nature. It is not equivalent to the English word religion – no, not at all. In fact, both are polar opposites. Religion means that which binds you, gives you a certain organization, a church, gives you a certain belonging. Dharma means that which frees you from all churches, from all organizations. Dharma is individual, religion is social. Religion belongs to the collective crowd, religion does not belong to the individual. Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism are all religions; they are not dharmas. Dharma has no adjective to it. Everybody has to discover his own dharma, everybody has to discover his own nature.
The Bauls’ attitude that God is here in you has to be understood as deeply as possible, because there is no other God. In fact, because religions have been talking about a God somewhere else, that’s why the world has become more and more godless. Because the God that is not here and cannot be touched and cannot be seen and cannot be lived with, cannot be very appealing. As man grows to be mature, that God will start disappearing, withering away. Whenever man becomes very mature, those gods of the dreams will disappear and man will be left without God. That’s what has happened to this age. It is not because of atheists that man has become godless, it is because of a wrong notion of God.
Marx could condemn the God of the Christians, Marx cannot condemn the God of the Bauls. Scientists can deny the God of the so-called religious, but scientists cannot deny the God of the Baul – because he never proposes anything dreamlike. He is simply realistic.
I have heard a beautiful anecdote: