To have friends in need is sweet
and to share happiness.
And to have done something good
before leaving this life is sweet,
and to let go of sorrow.
To be a mother is sweet,
and a father.
It is sweet to live arduously,
and to master yourself.
Oh how sweet it is to enjoy life,
living in honesty and strength!
And wisdom is sweet,
Gautama the Buddha does not talk about God, but he talks about love, freedom, truth, authenticity. He talks about the essential religion. He does not waste his breath on heaven and hell, the theory of reincarnation. He is absolutely unconcerned about the so-called great metaphysical problems. He is non-metaphysical – in a sense, very down to earth. He means business. He wants to give you a science which can transform your life. He is interested in creating an alchemy of inner revolution so the baser metal can be changed into gold. His religion is unique, in a way.
There are three types of religions in the world. Jainism is the only religion which is emphatically atheistic. It denies God and raises man to his ultimate peak. It declares that man is God and there is no other God. Except Jainism, all other religions – Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity – are theistic. They are rooted in the idea of God; without God they will be at a loss what to do. They are at a loss because since Nietzsche declared “God is dead,” humanity, by and by, has agreed with Nietzsche. His statement became very prophetic; it represents the twentieth-century mind. And the religions which have depended on the idea of God for centuries feel uprooted. They are dying, withering away.
Buddha is unique. He is neither atheistic like Jainism, nor theistic like other religions. He is a superb agnostic. He says there is no need to worry about unnecessary things. Think of the essential, think of the intrinsic, and don’t be bothered about the accidentals.
If you are authentic, if you are compassionate, if you are meditative, then if there is a God he will come to you; you need not go in search for him. And if there is a paradise it will descend in your heart. There is no need to be bothered about such abstract ideas; they simply waste your time. And if you are not authentic, not meditative, not compassionate, not wise enough, even if you come across God what are you going to do? You will feel a little embarrassed and God will feel a little embarrassed facing you. You both will be unnecessarily in a strange situation – what to say, what to do, what not to say, what not to do. You would like to escape and he would like to escape.
Just think: if suddenly you come across God, what will you do? You will run away from him as fast as you can!