Your whole life is a long cry, that’s why there is so much suffering. Religion gives you the keys to make you free, but you being a slave, and the life of slavery being convenient, comfortable, you create mock religions which don’t give you any freedom, which simply give you new types of slavery. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam, organized, established, as they are, are new sorts of imprisonments.
Jesus is freedom, Mohammed is freedom, Krishna is freedom, Buddha is freedom, but not Buddhism, not Mohammedanism, not Christianity, not Hinduism: they are mock. So a new slavery is born; not only are you a slave to your desires, your thoughts, your feelings, your instincts, but you become slaves to the priests. More slavery happens out of your mock religions, and nothing changes in you.
I have heard, once it happened:
Mulla Nasruddin was hounded by his creditors. He had taken much money from many people, and there was no way to get rid of them. So he asked his lawyer, and as lawyers do, he suggested, “Do one thing, Nasruddin, because there is no way out: make arrangements for a mock funeral with you in the casket. Let the whole town know that you are dead, and then escape from this town. All your creditors will know that now you are dead, and they won’t bother.”
It looked workable, it appealed to him. Nasruddin arranged a mock funeral. He was in the casket, the whole town gathered to say good-bye to him. The first creditor very sadly said good-bye, then the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth… But the ninth creditor pulled out a gun and hollered and said, “Nasruddin, I know you are dead, but still I will shoot you, just to have a little satisfaction.”
Nasruddin jumped out of the casket and said, “Hold on! You, I will pay!”
You cannot play with death, you cannot mock death, you cannot fool death. How can you live in a false way if you cannot even die in a false way? If you cannot die in a false way, it is almost impossible to live in a false way. You create more misery around you, nothing is solved through it; everything becomes more and more a riddle.
The more you try to solve, the more insanity is created, because within your heart you know that it is false. You go to the temple…have you ever really gone to the temple? It is a mock religion, just to show to others that you are religious. But is this going to help? Then the temple also becomes a slavery; ritual is slavery. Then this priest also exploits you because he knows your weakness.
With religion we have played the greatest game, and the game is that we have molded fetters out of freedom. That’s why a man like Jesus or Krishna is dangerous: he is not going to give you a mock life, he will give you the real thing.
That’s why Jesus says:
Whoever is near to me is near to the fire…