From Ignorance to Innocence 08

Eighth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Ignorance to Innocence by Osho.
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Do you really believe that God does not exist?
I do not believe that God does not exist, I know for sure he does not exist. And “thank God” that he does not exist – because the existence of God would have created so many problems, difficulties, that life would have been almost impossible.
You may not have looked at it from the angle from which I am going to talk to you – perhaps nobody has ever tried to look at it from this angle. The Christians say that God created the world. In fact, the hypothesis of God is needed for the creation. The world is there; somebody must have created it. Whoever created it, that creator is God. But do you see the implication? If the world was created, then there can be no evolution. Evolution means that creation continues.
Think of the Christian story: God created the world in six days, and then on the seventh day he rested, and since then he has been resting. The whole of creation was completed in six days. Now, where is the possibility for evolution? Creation means: finished! The full stop has arrived. On the sixth day, the full stop; and after that there is no possibility of evolution.
Evolution implies that creation is not complete, hence the possibility of evolving. But God cannot create an incomplete world; that will be going against God’s nature. He is perfect, and whatsoever he does is perfect: neither is he evolving, nor is the world evolving; everything is at a standstill, dead. This is the reason why the popes were against Charles Darwin, because that man was bringing in an idea which was going to kill God sooner or later. Those popes were perceptive in a way; they could see the faraway implications of the idea of evolution.
Ordinarily you would not connect creation and evolution. What connection is there between God and Charles Darwin? There is a connection. Charles Darwin is saying that the creation is an ongoing process, that existence is always imperfect, that it is never going to be perfect; only then can it go on evolving, reaching new peaks, new dimensions, opening new doors, new possibilities.
God finished his work in six days and not long ago: four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ was born. It must have been the first of January, a Monday, because we manage to fit God into everything that we have created. He has to follow our calendar. If you ask me, I will say it must have been Monday, the first of April, April Fools’ Day, because that day seems to be absolutely suitable for doing such an act of creating a complete ready-made existence.
If evolution becomes impossible, life loses all meaning, life loses all future: then it has only a past. It is not unnatural that religious people are constantly past-oriented; they only have the past. Everything has already been done; there is nothing to be done in the future, the future is empty, blank – and yet you have to live in that future. Everything that had to happen, happened four thousand and four years before Jesus was born. After that there has been no addition, no evolution, no development.
God created the world just as a potter creates a pot, a dead thing out of mud. But remember, the potter can destroy the pot any moment. If you give the power of creation to God, you are simultaneously giving the power of un-creation too. These are the implications that have not been looked into. God can un-create. April Fools’ Day comes every year; any year on the first of April he can un-create. At the most it may take six days again.
The very idea that you have been created makes you a thing; it takes away your being. You can be a being only if there is no God. God and you as a being cannot coexist. That’s why I say I am sure God does not exist, because I see beings everywhere.
The presence of beings is enough proof that God does not exist, cannot exist. Either you can exist or God can exist; you cannot both exist. The person who starts believing in God, is unknowingly losing his beinghood; he is becoming a thing. So there are Christian things, Hindu things, Mohammedan things, but not beings. They have dropped their being of their own accord; they have given their being to God.
The fiction has become alive, and the alive has become a fiction. I am simply putting things right side up. When I say God does not exist, I have no grudge against God. I don’t care a bit about God, whether he exists or not – it is none of my business.
When I say God does not exist, my purpose is to give you your lost beinghood; to show you that you are not a thing created arbitrarily by somebody. Why did he decide, on a certain day, four thousand and four years before Jesus was born, to create the world? What caused the idea of creation? Was there something else that was forcing him to create? Was there some serpent seducing him to create? Why on a certain day, and not before? I want you to see the point. It is arbitrary, whimsical. If the story is true, God is insane. What was he doing for the whole of eternity? The idea of creation came so late to him.
The very idea of creation makes us arbitrary, whimsical, whereas evolution is not arbitrary or whimsical. Evolution is eternal; it has always been going on. There was not a time when existence was not; there will never be a time when existence will not be.
Existence means eternity.
God makes everything silly, small, arbitrary, meaningless, whimsical. Just that old man – and he must have been really old, really, really old – and then this idea of creation came to him, and in six days he completed it. That’s why the popes were against Charles Darwin: “You are saying that it is not yet completed, it is evolving. You are against the Bible, the Holy Scriptures. You are against God, against the idea of creation.”
Charles Darwin was simply saying, “I am not against any God, I don’t know any God.” He was a very fearful person, and he was a Christian. He used to pray; in fact he started to pray more after he wrote the theory of evolution. He became very much afraid: who knows, perhaps he was doing something against God. He had believed that God created the world, but the facts of nature were telling a different story: everything is evolving, life is never the same again.
So if anybody believes in God, he cannot believe that you are a being. Only things are created; they have a beginning and an end; beings are eternal.
Because of this fact, two religions in India, Jainism and Buddhism, dropped the idea of God – because to keep that idea simply meant you were dropping the idea of being, which is far more significant. They would have liked to keep both, but it was logically impossible.
Once you accept that you have been created, you accept the other part of it, that the same whimsical man, any day, can un-create you. So what meaning do you have? – just a toy in the hands of some whimsical old man. So whenever he wants, he plays with the toys, and whenever he wants, he destroys them? It was really a great, courageous step on the part of Mahavira and Buddha to choose being and drop the idea of God – and that too, twenty-five centuries ago. They could simply see that you cannot manage both; they are against each other. But they were not aware of evolution; that was a later development. Now we know that creation goes against the idea of evolution too.
Creation and evolution are absolutely against each other. Creation means completion; evolution means constant growth. Growth is possible only if things are imperfect and remain imperfect. Howsoever they grow there is always a possibility of growing more.
There are a few other things which have to be considered. If you are created, you can’t have freedom. Have you seen any machinery having freedom, any thing having freedom? Anything that is created is in the hands of the creator, just like a puppet. He has the strings in his hands; he pulls one string… You must have seen a puppet show. The strings are pulled, the man is behind the screen; you don’t see him, you simply see the puppets, and they dance and they fight, but that is all false – the puppeteer is the reality.
These puppets cannot have freedom to fight, to love, to get married – all these things happen in a puppet show – to dance or not to dance; or when they don’t want to dance, to say, “No, I am not going to dance.” The puppet cannot say no. And all the religions have been teaching you not to say no: don’t say no to God, to his messiah, to his holy book – never, never think in terms of saying no.
Why? If you cannot say no, what is the meaning of your yes? It is a corollary. Yes has meaning only when you are capable of saying no. If you have to say yes, and there is no other alternative except yes…

I have heard that when Ford first started manufacturing cars, he himself used to go to the showroom and take an interest in the customers, talk to the customers. He would say to them, “You can choose any color provided it is black” – because at that time there were only black cars. But he used to say, “You can choose any color provided it is black.”

You are free, provided your answer is yes. What kind of freedom is this? Puppets cannot have freedom. And if God has simply made you, you are a puppet. It is better to revolt against God and be a being than to submit and be a part of a puppet show, because the moment you accept yourself as a puppet, you have committed suicide.
You see puppets the whole world over, with different colors, different names, different rituals. Hindus say that without God’s will, even a leaf in the tree cannot move – so what about you? Everything happens according to God. In fact, he has determined everything the moment he created; it is predestined. Now, it is so strange that intelligent people also go on believing in such garbage.
Just see the garbage: on the one hand God has created you; on the other hand, when you do something wrong you will be punished. If God has created you, and he has determined your nature and you cannot go against it, you don’t have any freedom. With God there is no possibility to have freedom; then how can you commit a crime, how can you be a sinner and how can you be a saint?
Everything is determined by him, he is responsible; you are not. But people go on believing in both things together: God creating the world, God creating man, woman, everything, and then throwing all responsibility on you. If there is something wrong with you, God is responsible and should be punished. If you are a murderer, then God created a murderer; then he should be responsible for Adolf Hitlers and Joseph Stalins and Mao Zedongs. He created these people.
But no, the religious mind loses intelligence, becomes rusted, forgets completely that these are incompatible things; God and freedom are incompatible. If you are free, then there is no God.
I remind you again of Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement. This man was certainly crazy, but sometimes the so-called sane people are so dumb and so dull, so idiotic, that crazy people come up with great insights – and Nietzsche had that genius. Once in a while he came up with such a great insight that you cannot believe why people had not seen it before; and Nietzsche lived just a hundred years ago.
He said, “God is dead, therefore, I declare, man from now onward is free.” This whole sentence brings freedom and God together for the first time in the whole history of mankind. It was waiting for this crazy man, Friedrich Nietzsche, to put these together: that God is dead, therefore you are free; otherwise, you are not free.
You may not have thought about it. How can you be free with a creator who is continuously watching you, who is continuously maintaining you and directing you? In the first place he has put everything into you as a fixed program. And you will follow that program; you cannot do otherwise. What you feed into the computer, the computer can only answer with that. If you start asking things which you have not fed into the computer before, the computer cannot answer them. The computer is a mechanism: first you have to feed it all the information, then whenever you need, you can ask the computer and the information will be available.
You are a computer if there is a creator! He has put certain information into you, he has programmed you, and you are doing things accordingly. If you are a saint, you are not to take the credit for it; it was the program. If you are a sinner you need not feel condemned and bad; it was the program.

In India, the life of Rama has been played every year for ten thousand years. Almost all over the country, even in the smallest village there is a drama company. Once a year the drama company starts preparing one month ahead, and big cities who can afford it can ask professional companies. There are professional companies, particularly in Ayodhya, which was the capital of Rama, and in other religious places. So, big cities that can afford to, ask the professional companies. Small villages, towns which cannot afford to, make their own company.
It happened in one of the villages: the drama begins with Sita’s marriage. In those days particularly, princes used to have a certain ceremony called swayamvar. All the eligible young men – of course young princes, because nobody else would be allowed in the palace – from all over the country would gather together, and the girl, the princess, would take a garland in her hand and move about. It was for her to choose anybody she wanted. Or, if she was worried that on what criterion… It was a difficult job: a hundred princes were there, and they were all beautiful and from royal families, and young and strong. It was not easy to choose just like that, and it was not something that tomorrow you could reject.
In India it is not only a life-long affair, it is going to be for many lives. It is really a great burden on the mind of the girl: how to choose? So she can take the help of God in a certain way. Some device can be managed: that whosoever solves this puzzle will be the person she will choose. Now she is leaving it to God – it is easier, in wiser hands.
In Sita’s swayamvar, the device was a bow of the Lord Shiva, which was given to Sita’s father because he was a devotee of Shiva. The bow was so heavy – of course, it was a god’s bow – that even to take it up needed a superman. An ordinary man would not be able even to move it; and to use it – that was something almost impossible.
There was a fish, an artificial fish placed on the ceiling, and on the ground there was a small pond, which reflected the fish. You had to look in the pond at the reflection, and with Shiva’s bow and arrow you had to shoot the fish above – a great warrior was needed. First, the problem was how to lift up the bow. Even if you managed to lift it, then the problem was how to use it; it was not an ordinary bow. And then the puzzle was that you had to look at the reflection in the water and shoot the fish, which, like the reflection, was moving; it was on a wheel.
The whole country was agog. All the great warriors and kings, they all gathered there. Ravana was one of the greatest warriors of those days. He was the king of Sri Lanka and there was every chance that he would win the contest because he was also a devotee of Shiva, perhaps a greater devotee than Sita’s father. His devotion to Shiva was such, so the story says, that when Shiva was not listening to him, Ravana said, “If you don’t listen to me, then I will cut off my head and put it at your feet. What more sacrifice do you want?” And he did cut off his own head and put it at Shiva’s feet. Of course more sacrifice is impossible.
This is a strange story – how can you cut off your own head, and then put it at Shiva’s feet? How will you manage to find where Shiva’s feet are? Your head is cut off; your eyes have gone. But that’s the story – he managed.
Shiva was very happy with him and said, “Because you have done something which nobody has ever done, I will give you something which has never been given to anybody: you will have ten heads. Because you have sacrificed one, I will give you ten heads. And any enemy cutting off one of your heads will not be able to kill you – immediately another head will grow. The ten heads will remain ten.”
This man with his ten heads was coming to the swayamvar. There was every fear that… And he must have been the ugliest man; even one head is enough, but ten heads! Everybody was afraid that he was coming and there was every chance that he would take up this bow; there seemed to be nothing to prevent him. Rama was also participating as a prince of Ayodhya. He was a young man, very young, and it was not known that he was a great warrior or anything. There was no possibility for him to win the contest.
So the sages who wanted Rama to win the contest and get married to Sita arranged a conspiracy so that when Ravana went to pick up the bow, a man came running and told him, “Your capital” – which was made all of gold – “is on fire and you are immediately needed. Without you everything will be gone.” So poor Ravana had to leave the bow and rushed to Sri Lanka. Meanwhile Rama won the contest, and was married.
This is the story – the beginning. In this particular village the actors were all programmed and being prompted from the back. But when the man came saying, “Sri Lanka is on fire,” the man who was playing the role of Ravana said, “Let it be! I am going to marry Sita. Enough is enough; this time I am not going to go anywhere.
The prompter was trying hard: “This is not what we have told you.”
The actor said, “Stop all this prompting – I know what I am doing.” In fact he was in love with the girl who was playing the role of Sita, and the girl’s father was not willing for them to marry. This was the only chance to declare before the whole town… And before anybody else could do anything, Sita garlanded him.
Now, the whole town was in a shock. The story was finished before it had even started, because this was the beginning only, just the introduction; the real things were just about to happen. The actors were in such a hurry; they even forgot to pull the curtains. The whole mass was shouting and screaming and clapping, and saying, “We have seen many things but nothing like this. This is just the best drama that we have seen!”

In a drama you may go against the program, because it is acting, it is not your being; your being is still free. You may be acting the part of Ravana or Rama, but those are parts, roles; your being is still free. You can decide for or against. But if your being is created then there is no possibility of your going anywhere other than where the program says, doing anything other than what’s in the program.
If there is a God who has created the world, then nobody is responsible except him. And to whom can he be responsible? There is nobody above him. You are not responsible because he has created you. He is not responsible because there is nobody else to whom he can be responsible. God means the world loses all responsibility, and responsibility is the very center of your life.
Then you can play the role, but you are not there, only promptings; whether given from the outside, from behind the curtain, or whether given from the inside through the hormones, through biology, physiology, psychology doesn’t matter. You are only a collection of promptings, and you are just following them. It takes all dignity from man totally. It reduces you to a puppet.
To accept God is not to be religious, because without responsibility how can you be religious? Without freedom how can you be religious? Without an independent being of your own, how can you be religious? God is the greatest anti-religious idea.
If you look into it from every aspect, then those who believe in God are not religious, cannot be religious. So when I say there is no God, I am trying to save religiousness.
There is no danger from the Devil; the real danger comes from God. The Devil is only his shadow. If God disappears the shadow will disappear automatically. The real problem is God.
And you can see what I am saying if you look at history. Every step in evolution has been stopped by the churches out of fear that it proves creation is incomplete. Man has reached the moon, but in India I have come across Hindu shankaracharyas, Jaina acharyas – they are equivalent to the pope – who don’t believe it, because their scriptures say that the moon is a goddess. The sun is a god; the moon is not a planet. You will be surprised to know that one Jaina monk has accumulated millions of rupees in donations because he is creating a lab to prove that man has not reached the moon, but has landed on some other planet!
Now, these idiots – and people believe in them because the scriptures are in their favor – collect all the quotations from all the scriptures spoken by people who are omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent: avatars, tirthankaras, God’s special messengers. And if they say this, then what can poor scientists do?
They are deceiving you, cheating you and cheating themselves. A fact that nobody can deny, a fact that all the scientists of the whole world, including India, have accepted, is not acceptable to the religious mind because it will destroy their faith in the scriptures. They are more worried about their faith than about reality.
When I say God is the greatest enemy of religion, it is going to shock the so-called religious people, because they think praying to God, worshipping God, surrendering to God is what religion is. They have never thought about responsibility, freedom, growth, consciousness, being; they have never bothered – and yet these are the real religious questions.
Your prayers are silly. You are simply praising God in the same way you have been praising kings and queens; in the same tone, in the same words. You are praising God and thinking that just as your queens and kings become influenced by your prayer and you can persuade them to do favors for you, so will you be able to persuade God.
The Bible’s statement that God created man in his own image is absolutely wrong. Just the contrary is true: man created God in his own image, God is man’s creation. Hence the Hindu God is different, the Mohammedan God is different, the Jewish God is different, because different people were trying to figure out how God looks, what language he speaks. Now, Jews cannot believe that he speaks any other language than Hebrew, and Hindus cannot believe it: “God speaking Hebrew! Have you gone mad? Do you think God is a Jew? He speaks pure Sanskrit.”

I have heard that after the Second World War, a German general and a British general – just resting, taking a sunbath on the beach – started talking. The German general said, “I am simply puzzled by one thing: that we were praying to the Christian God, and you were praying to the same Christian God, but we are defeated and you have won. Is it not partial?”
The English general laughed and said, “It is not partial. Just tell me one thing: in what language were you praying – in German? That’s where the fault was. God understands only English, no other language, and we were praying in English. There is no mystery in it, it is simple.”

Man, imposing himself by this creation of God in man’s own image, is not aware of what he is losing. He is losing all that is valuable, everything that is beautiful, everything that can become a blessing to him.
The religious person starts focusing himself upon a fiction and forgets his own reality, forgets himself and thinks of somebody there above, in the sky. That person above in the sky is nonexistential, but you can focus on any nonexistential thing. And you can forget yourself in that focusing.
And that is where real religion happens: within you.
Hence prayer has nothing to do with religion. In my religion there is no place for prayer. No true religion can have anything like prayer, which is absolutely bogus.
What are you doing in prayer? You are creating first an image of your own imagination, surrendering to your own imagination; then talking to that image. You are just performing an insane act. In all the churches, in all the synagogues, in all the temples and in all the mosques of the world, these people are doing something insane – but the whole earth is full of these insane people.
Because they have been doing this for centuries, and you have accepted them as religious, it shocks you when I say that they are not religious. They are not even normal – to be religious is far away. They are below normal. They are doing something so stupid that if they go on doing it, whatsoever little intelligence is left in them, by and by, will go down the drain. Perhaps it has already gone.
To me, religion is a tremendous phenomenon. It is not fictitious. It is entering into the very heart of reality. It is knowing existence from its very center. But you will have to drop your fictions. Those fictions will never allow you to enter into yourself, because those fictions are projected outward, and you get completely identified with them.
You know, you watch a movie or a television show and you know perfectly well that many times tears have come to your eyes, although you know that it is only a television screen and there is nobody there. But you forget completely that you are only a watcher. You become identified with someone, so much so, that if the other person is in great suffering, tears come to your eyes.

In Kolkata there was a very famous scholar of Indian literature, theology, history, and all that you can conceive. He was a rare mind, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. Vidyasagar means ocean of wisdom. That title was given to him by the All-India Conference of Hindu Scholars. It has not been given to anybody else, either before or since. He was really an ocean of what they call wisdom. I will not call it wisdom.
I will show you how wise he was: because he was so famous a scholar and carried all kinds of DLitts. from different sources, one Sanskrit university, instead of a DLitt., gave him the title Vidya Varidhi; that too means ocean of wisdom. Another gave him the title Vidya Vachaspati, master of wisdom, and the Hindu University of Benares gave him the title Mahamahopadhyaya: the greatest teacher of all.
He had all these degrees, and he was respected all over the country and particularly in Bengal; there was nobody who even came close to him. He was invited to a drama, to inaugurate it, and it was arranged by such great people that he could not refuse. Even the viceroy of India was going to be present there, because Kolkata in those days was the capital of India. So he went to inaugurate it.
He inaugurated it and was sitting by the side of the viceroy, just in the front row. In the drama there is a very corrupted, cunning character, a villain who is continually after a very innocent woman. The story becomes so intense that at one point he finds the woman alone, far away from the village. She had come to the river to collect water. There is nobody around, the village is miles away, and he gets hold of her…
There was pin drop silence because there was going to be a rape; that’s what the man intends to do. And suddenly – the audience could not believe it – Ishwar Vidyasagar jumped onto the stage and started beating the man with one of his shoes!
For a moment nobody could think what to do or what not to do about Vidyasagar. But that actor took the shoe in his hand and he said to Vidyasagar, “This I will not return; it is the greatest prize in my life. I have been playing this role my whole life, but if a man like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar gets so involved and identified that he forgets himself, and forgets that it is only a drama, and I am not going to rape the woman… In the first place she is not a woman – you know it, and everybody else knows it. That chap is a young man from your own town.”
Ishwar Chandra felt very ashamed, and said, “I am sorry that I disturbed the whole drama. But it is true; I forgot completely that it is a drama. I forgot completely who I am. I forgot completely that the woman is not a woman and that you are simply playing a role; you are not going to rape her. Before thousands of people and the viceroy of India, you are not going to rape her. I just forgot.”

But you are also forgetting when you become emotionally involved in a film or a novel. And this is what your so-called religious people have been doing. They have become involved with imaginary gods and goddesses of all kinds and types you can imagine. And they have completely forgotten themselves. They are worshipping something which is not there, but they have been worshipping so intently that they can create the hallucination of it.
It is possible for a Christian to see Jesus with open eyes; it is possible for a Hindu to see Krishna with open eyes. But the greatest difficulty would be for Jesus to appear to a Hindu. For a Hindu, Jesus never appears – never, even by mistake – and Krishna never appears to a Christian. Once in a while it wouldn’t do much harm, but they never commit that mistake. The Christian will not allow the mistake to be committed; his hallucination is of Jesus, he cannot hallucinate about Krishna. Only what you are projecting appears on the screen.
If you are projecting a film, only that appears on the screen; if you project another film then another film appears on the screen. It is not possible for you to project one film, and another film starts appearing on the screen – that is not possible. That’s why it is not possible for Krishna to appear to a Christian, or a Mohammedan or a Jew. It is not possible for Jesus to appear to anybody else except Christians.
Still we go on and on strengthening, enforcing our imagination and hallucinations. And what have you got out of it? From thousands of years of hallucinations, what have you got, this humanity that you see around the world, this mess? This is the result of thousands of years of religious practices, discipline, ritual, prayer. Millions of churches, synagogues, temples, all around the earth, and this is the result: the man you see, the actual man, has come out of this whole effort.
It was bound to be so, because we have wasted all these years in sheer stupidity, calling it religion. We have wasted much time in which man could have grown to heights unknown, to depths unfathomable, to the freedom of the spirit, the compassion of the soul, integrity, individuality. If all these thousands of years had not been wasted with a bogus God, just hocus-pocus, of no worth, not a single penny…
And you ask me, “Do you really not believe?”
It is not a question of believing or not believing – there is no one to believe in or not to believe in. There is no God!
So please remember: don’t start saying that I am an unbeliever. I am neither a believer nor an unbeliever. I am simply saying that the whole thing is a mere projection of the human mind and it is time that we stopped this game against ourselves.
It is time that we said good-bye to God forever.

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