But because of this natural situation all the religions have committed the greatest crime in the history of man; and that is, making the child a Christian, a Mohammedan, a Jew, a Hindu, a communist – without the child’s acceptance, without the child’s readiness, willingness. Of course the child has not said no, but he has not said yes either. If people are sensitive they will wait for the child’s yes.
If they are really loving they will wait till the child asks them, “What is this church all about?” They should make every effort to see that he is not being influenced indirectly; the question of direct influence should not even arise. He should be left clean, pure, as he is born, till the time when he picks up some intelligence.
Growth takes a little time.
Just a little patience is needed.
He will ask questions, because everybody is born with a potential for search, inquiry. He will come up with questions; then too, if you are alert, loving, compassionate towards this young fellow traveler…. He is not your possession, he has just come through you. You have been only a passage – never forget that. He does not belong to you, he belongs to the whole existence. You have been just a path for him to come into this body.
Don’t destroy the child’s natural potentialities.
Don’t divert the child according to your vested interests.
Don’t be political, at least with your own child.
But all over the earth, all the parents, all the teachers, have no idea of what they are doing.
In the name of religion they are committing a sin.
Ordinarily I don’t use that word. To me in life there may be mistakes, errors – not sin – because man is fallible. Man is not born omniscient, knowing all. He is not a born pope – infallible. He will fall many times, and he will get up again. This is the way he will learn how to walk; this is the way he will learn how to see, how to inquire.
Yes, many times he will go on a wrong path. Nothing is wrong in that. In going on a wrong path, you are learning that it is wrong, because when you are moving in a wrong direction you cannot feel comfortable: that is a natural indication. You will feel uneasy, your stomach cramped; you will feel tense – because wherever you are going is not the natural way for you. All these are indications to change the route and know forever that this is not right for you.
But about religion I cannot use very ordinary words like mistake, error – no. Something really heavy is needed.
So I say the so-called religion is the only sin in the world because it commits a crime against somebody who is absolutely helpless and in your hands. And it is a crime of tremendous proportions.