It is not a question of religion. It is a question of fear and being saved from fear, so it is natural in a way. But at a certain point of your maturity, intelligence demands that it should be dropped. It was good when you were a child, but one day you have to leave your teddy bear; just the same way one day you have to leave your God, just the same as one day you have to leave your Christianity, your Hinduism. Finally, the day you drop all your armor means you have dropped living out of fear.
And what kind of living can be out of fear? Once the armor is dropped you can live out of love, you can live in a mature way. The fully matured man has no fear, no defense; he is psychologically completely open and vulnerable.
At one point the armor may be a necessity – perhaps it is. But as you grow, if you are not only growing old but also growing up, growing in maturity, then you will start seeing what you are carrying with you. Why do you believe in God? One day you have to see for yourself that you have not seen God, you haven’t had any contact with God, and to believe in God is to live a lie: you are not being sincere.
What kind of religion can there be when there is no sincerity, no authenticity? You cannot even give reasons for your beliefs, and still you go on clinging to them. Look closely and you will find fear behind.
A mature person should disconnect himself from anything that is connected with fear. That’s how maturity comes. Just watch all your acts, all your beliefs, and find out whether they are based in reality, in experience, or based in fear. And anything based in fear has to be dropped immediately, without a second thought. It is your armor. I cannot melt it. I can simply show you how you can drop it.
It is not a simple thing; there are many things around it…. In India there are so many temples. Many people don’t have houses, but there are so many gods – thirty-three million gods – and they all need their temples. In some places, like Varanasi, you will find two houses then one temple, three houses then another temple…the whole city is a city of temples. In Khajuraho, which is a ruined city, still there are one hundred temples, and hundreds of other temples are in ruins. Once it must have been a big city, but looking at the temples, I could not figure out where men were living, because the whole city seems to be composed of temples and temples. There seems to be no space.
I used to go for a morning walk in Jabalpur, on a silent street, and one man used to follow me – because we were the only two who used to go for a walk in the morning. His habit was to pay respect to every god on the road, so this temple will come and he will pay respect, and that temple will come and he will pay his respect.
I told him, “Just listen, if you have to come with me then you cannot continue this stupidity; otherwise you are free – you can do it, but I cannot wait at every temple. It looks embarrassing: you are doing this idiotic act and I am standing by your side!”