From Unconciousness to Conscious 26

TwentySixth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Unconciousness to Conscious by Osho.
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In your religion is there such a thing as sin?
Sin is a technique of the pseudo-religions. A true religion has no need of the concept at all. The pseudo-religion cannot live without the concept of sin, because sin is the technique of creating guilt in people.
You will have to understand the whole strategy of sin and guilt. Unless you make a person feel guilty, you cannot enslave him psychologically. It is impossible to imprison him in a certain ideology, a certain belief system. But once you have created guilt in his mind, you have taken all that is courageous in him. You have destroyed all that is adventurous in him. You have repressed all possibility of his ever being an individual in his own right. With the idea of guilt, you have almost murdered the human potential in him. He can never be independent. The guilt will force him to be dependent on a messiah, on a religious teaching, on God, on the concepts of heaven and hell, and the whole lot.
To create guilt, all that you need is a very simple thing: start calling mistakes, errors – sins. They are simply mistakes, human. Now, if somebody commits a mistake in mathematics – two plus two, and he concludes it makes five – you don’t say he has committed a sin. He is unalert, he is not paying attention to what he is doing. He is unprepared, he has not done his homework. He is certainly committing a mistake, but a mistake is not a sin. It can be corrected. A mistake does not make him feel guilty. At the most it makes him feel foolish.
What the pseudo-religions have done – and all the religions of the world have been pseudo-religions up to now – is to have exploited mistakes, errors, which are absolutely human – and condemned them as sin. Sin means it is not a simple mistake: you have gone against God; that’s the meaning of the word sin. Adam and Eve committed the original sin: they disobeyed God. Whenever somebody condemns you as committing a sin, he is saying in some way or other you are disobeying God.
Now, nobody knows who this God is, what is for him and what is against him. There are three hundred pseudo-religions on the earth. Just think of three hundred sciences upon the earth, three hundred schools of physics, condemning each other, finding fault with each other, declaring, “Only our school is the true school, and all the other schools are misleading humanity.” What will be the situation of the earth if there are three hundred schools of physics, three hundred schools of chemistry, three hundred schools of medicine, three hundred schools of mathematics – what will be the situation? The whole earth will go mad. And that is what has happened as far as religion is concerned.
And when I say three hundred, I am not counting sects within religions. For example, I am counting Christianity as one religion, not Catholics, Protestants – in fact they are two religions. And then there are subsects. If you counted them all, then three hundred would be a very small number; there might be three thousand. Everybody is giving you the word of God, and all these religions are giving contradictory statements.
If you listen to all religions, you cannot even breathe for a single moment, because whatever you do is a sin. Fortunately you are conditioned by only one pseudo-religion, so you don’t become aware that there are other idiots also – you are not alone – who are doing the same thing. Their rules are different, but they are playing the same game.
For example, a Jaina monk…. Now Jainism is a very small religion, only three hundred thousand people. We have more sannyasins than there are followers of Jainism. But they have two major sects, just like Catholics and Protestants, and then there are at least thirty subsects. And each subsect believes that this is the true Jainism, and the other twenty-nine either are befooling themselves or are cheating others.
One of these sects is Terapanth. The word terapanth means “thine way,” God’s way. The monk of this sect keeps his nose covered, always covered – twenty-four hours a day, day and night, even in sleep – with cloth, because to breathe directly is a sin. You are all committing sin and you have committed so much that now there is no hope; your whole life you have been committing sin. Except these few, seven hundred people – there are only seven hundred monks in this sect – except these seven hundred people, the whole earth is full of sinners.
Just this much is enough to throw you to the seventh hell, because with each breath you are killing millions of germs. And, according to Jainism, the smallest germ that you cannot even see with your bare eyes – you need a microscope, you need to magnify it at least one thousand times, then you can see it – those smallest germs have the same soul as you have. There is no qualitative difference. Whether you kill a man or you kill a germ, it is all the same as far as God is concerned. In his eyes, you will not be given special treatment.
So the moment you breathe out, you throw out hot air. That hot air is enough to kill millions of germs in the air. When you breathe in, you breathe in millions of germs with your breathing, which will be killed inside you. So with each breath, what Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong did – what all three did in their whole life seems to be nothing – you are doing in a simple breath.
Even at night they cannot remove the cloth. To talk to these people is difficult, because the cloth is covering their nose and their mouth too, because when you speak, air comes from your mouth, air goes in from your mouth, so they can’t speak without the cover. So the direct hit is avoided. But to talk to these people is very difficult; even to understand what they are saying is very difficult. They are just mumbling inside the covered mouth, the nose cover.
And the people who believe in Terapanth, who have not become monks, are continuously feeling guilty that they are breathing. I used to stay with a few Terapanthi friends in Bombay and this was the great burden on their soul, that they were not yet capable of renouncing the world and becoming monks – because unless you become a monk and renounce the world, you cannot avoid committing sin. If even breathing is a sin, then you can think anything can be a sin.
One of the oldest senators in India was my friend. He was known as the father of the Indian parliament. From 1916 up to ’78 he was a member of the parliament. Only one man in the whole history of the world was his competitor, and that was Winston Churchill; otherwise he has defeated everybody – just the length of time and continually being chosen. But he was a very mediocre man. Perhaps that was the reason people were choosing him again and again. He was not cunning; he was not really capable of being a politician; otherwise a man who remains a member of the parliament for more than half a century would have become a prime minister, a president, naturally. But he could not even manage to become a minister or a governor of a state. He was simple – better to say he was a simpleton.
What brought him to me was the death of his son. His son was also a politician, and very promising. He was already a deputy minister and in the next election he was going to become a minister. And the father – his name was Seth Govinddas – was projecting all his ambitions on the son. He could not become the prime minister of India, but his son was going to be. And he was very young, so there was every possibility that by the time he was fifty, sixty, he would become the prime minister.
But he suddenly died when he was only thirty-six. His death was a great shock to the old man. He was very rich. The British government had given Seth Govinddas’ father the title of Raja, the title of a king, although he was not a king. But he had so many riches and so much land, and he served the British government in every possible way, so the government recognized his services and gave him the title of Raja.
Seth Govinddas was the son of Raja Gokuldas, and his prestige was because he revolted against the British government and became a freedom fighter. That was his only quality, and the reason why people went on choosing him for parliament. That was enough for the poor people: that he was so rich, and that although the government respected his father so much, he had revolted against his father, revolted against the government, and his father had disowned him. These became his qualifications; otherwise he had no quality, intelligence, or anything. And because of him, his son went into the same profession. The son was cunning and intelligent, well educated.
His death was a great shock to Seth Govinddas. He started going to saints and asking, “Why has it happened?” And wherever he went – the simple answer of all pseudo-religions is the same – they all said, “You must have committed a sin in your past life. This is a punishment.”
I want to emphasize the point that he went to different religious saints, but the answer was the same. The strategy was the same: “You have committed some sin, this is the result of it. Now, repent! Now, do something good, be virtuous.” Of course the virtue prescribed by all these saints was different. One Hindu monk suggested, “From now onward stop eating salt completely.”
He asked, “But how is that going to help?”
The monk said, “That is going to help because when you don’t eat salt, your whole food becomes tasteless” – particularly Indian food will become absolutely tasteless without salt – “and to eat not for taste is a virtue; to eat for taste is a sin. To eat for taste is to follow the body, and your soul is being manipulated, enslaved by the body. That’s what sin is, the body on top of your soul; the body is the master, and the soul is functioning like a slave, so wherever the body takes it, it goes.
“Just turn it the other way round: whatsoever your body says, don’t do it. Your body will ask for salt – don’t eat salt. Slowly stop eating sugar. Slowly make your food absolutely tasteless, so you just eat it to keep the life that God has given to you, somehow alive – then you are not interested in this life, you are preparing for the future life.” Now, salt is a need of the body. You need a particular amount of salt in your body, otherwise you will become weak. Your body, whatsoever it asks, is not wrong. It asks because it is its need.
These people are making your physical needs into sins. Naturally your body will continue to ask for salt. You will force the body not to eat salt, but the body will be continuously asking and hankering for it. That will make trouble: either you will torture your body or you may start eating the salt and committing the sin. In both ways, just a simple thing, salt, has turned you into a sick man. Now your psychology is not healthy.
Meeting many of these people…and Seth Govinddas was a famous person, so any saint was ready to meet him, happy to meet him, and always ready to suggest ideas to him. I had lived in his own city for twenty years – he had never bothered to come to me. In fact, any politician in India was afraid to be seen with me or to be known to come to me. The masses will turn against the politician – and not just small politicians. This man was a very established person, fifty years, more than fifty years a member of parliament. Then what had he to fear? But he had never come to see me.
He used to hear about me. People were talking about me, even the prime minister. While he was in parliament, many prime ministers changed. One prime minister, Lalbahadur Shastri, inquired about me. Seth Govinddas said, “I have heard his name, but I don’t know him personally.” Lalbahadur told me, “It is strange: this man is a member of parliament from your constituency, and he does not know you.”
I said, “You should understand his position. If he comes to see me…of course I am not going to see him, I have no reason to see him. I have never voted for anybody because all the idiots are the same. Only the labels are different, so there is no point in voting. I have never voted. And what should I go for…? So there is no question. And he…you should understand, you are a politician. Are you courageous enough to come to my house?”
He was a very nice man. He laughed, he said, “You are right; now I understand. Anybody coming to your house would get into difficulty. This man’s seat could be lost.”
Indira was continuously asking him how I am, what I am doing, what is going on. She wanted to come to see me; at least five times the date was fixed, and at the last moment she would find some excuse and never managed to come to see me: “because,” her colleagues would say to her, “this is dangerous. Your going to see him will be very dangerous for your political career. And the opposition party will use your going to him as one of the most important factors against you.” So every time she backed out.
But when the son, Raja Gokuldas, died, this old man – perhaps in that deep sadness – forgot about his politics and parliament and came to see me. And he said, “Everywhere that I have gone they say I must have committed some sin, that’s why I am suffering this loss of my young son. And they have suggested measures so that in the future life I don’t suffer.”
I said, “They have given you enough measures to suffer right now, in this life. And you should have asked what sin you have committed in your past lives. They all would have differed; they cannot know what sin you have committed in your past lives, they all would have had to do some guesswork. And stupid…that just by stopping eating salt or sugar, you think you will become virtuous? You will only become guilty.”
He said, “You are right. That is what I have become. I have been following all these people, thinking that they are wise people, and they have made me a mess. Whatsoever I do is wrong. And whatsoever they suggest I should do seems to be unnatural, forced. Even if I try, I fail.”
Sin is a strategy to destroy you, to demolish you, to slaughter you as an individual. And then you are in the hands of the priest. Then whatsoever he says, you have to follow. You cannot argue because it is written in the scriptures. And to argue against the scriptures is again a sin. The scripture has to be treated like a person.

I was staying in Jalandhar in Punjab. In the morning when I was going for a walk, I passed through a room where the Sikhs keep a small temple – those who can afford to; and this was a very rich man’s house. It was a beautiful marble temple, a small temple, in which they keep the Guru Granth Sahib, their holy book. That was okay. The holy book was there, but by the side of the holy book there was toothpaste, a brush, and a jug full of hot water, because it was winter.
I asked my host, “What is the matter? I can understand the temple. I can understand the Guru Granth Sahib….” In fact, to use the word sahib is to make the book a person. Sahib is not used for things, it is just when you are paying respect to somebody. It came with the British in India. They were the masters and Indians started calling them sahib. It was an old word, but sahib means “very respectful person.” Nobody calls a book sahib. But Sikhs call their book Guru Granth Sahib – guru means the master.
The tenth guru of the Sikhs proclaimed, “I am the last guru, and from now onward the book” – in which the sayings of all the ten masters, including him, the last, are collected – “will be the master. From now onward, there will be nobody who will be the master but the book.” So guru means the master, granth means the collection, because it is not one person’s written book but ten people’s statements, so it is a compilation, a collection. And then sahib: that means honorable, respectable master.
I said, “I can understand that you pay respect to the sayings of your masters, but what is this stupidity? Why are you keeping this water, toothpaste, toothbrush?”
He said, “You are not aware of our customs. The master, in the morning, will need to wash his mouth, to clean his teeth – the book….”
I said, “Okay, but has any of your ten masters known the toothbrush, toothpaste? At that time there was no toothpaste available.”
He said, “That’s right. This is very modern.”
Five hundred years ago, certainly, Binaca toothpaste…? And made in Switzerland – when you give to the guru, you give something imported. Binaca is made in India also, the same company makes the paste; but when you offer it to the guru, then you offer the imported Binaca toothpaste. If you don’t do it, then you will feel guilty, because all the Sikhs are doing it. At breakfast time, you will bring breakfast – and you know that this is a book…. You know, you are not blind. Lunchtime, lunch…and every time you carry everything back. The book eats nothing, but that is beside the point. If your society conditions your mind for any stupidity and you don’t want to do it, your conscience will prick you.
You have to understand these two words: conscience and consciousness. Consciousness is yours. Conscience is given by the society. It is an imposition on your consciousness. Different societies impose different ideas on your consciousness, but they all impose something or other. And once something is imposed on your consciousness, you cannot hear your consciousness, it is far away. Between your consciousness and you stands a thick wall of conscience that the society has imposed on you from your very childhood – and it works.
Up to the age of sixteen I had never eaten anything in the night. It is impossible in a Jaina house. You cannot find anything to eat because everything, as the sun sets, is finished. If something is left, it is given to the beggars; in the house you cannot find a single thing to eat. So there is no question even of stealing or, when your parents have gone to sleep, going to the kitchen. There is nothing, you cannot find anything.
You cannot go out in a small village – everybody knows everybody. You cannot go to a restaurant because they will immediately say, “What…!” They may not be Jainas but they know you are a Jaina. They will say, “Okay. Tomorrow, let your father pass by…. So you have started eating in the night?” So even if you are feeling hungry, there is no way. Up to the age of sixteen I had never eaten during the night.
When I was sixteen, the whole school was going for a picnic to a nearby castle, a very beautiful mountain covered with jungle, so I went with them. All the students in my class except me were Hindus or Mohammedans. I was the only Jaina. They were not interested…the day was so beautiful, and there was so much to see and wander around, that they were not interested in preparing food in the day. They said, “We will take food in the night.” It was going to be a full moon night, and a beautiful river was at the side of the castle, so “we will take food in the night.” Just for me they were not going to prepare it earlier, and I could not say to them, “I cannot eat in the night.” I thought it was better to starve rather than to become a laughingstock, because they would all laugh and say, “Then you can make it!” and I had never made anything, not even a cup of tea, in my life.
Even today I cannot manage a cup of tea. In fact I don’t know where the kitchen is. I cannot find it unless somebody leads me. I don’t know where the kitchen is in this house. And in my own house, of course, I was not allowed in the kitchen at all. That’s why I cannot even prepare a cup of tea. Because I was mixing with Mohammedans and Hindus and untouchables I was not allowed in the kitchen. My family said, “Unless you change your ways….”
The whole house used to eat inside the kitchen; I used to eat outside the kitchen. I was just an outcast, because they could not rely on me, from where I was coming, with whom I had been talking, whom I had touched; they had no idea. “Either you take a bath right now, and then you can enter….” Now, how many times would I have to take a bath? So I settled it. I said, “It is good; also, no quarrel every day. I will eat outside, and I am perfectly happy outside.”
Those boys on the picnic prepared really beautiful food, and it was more beautiful because I was so hungry…and the smell of it…and they started persuading me: “Nobody is going to tell your parents, we promise that nobody will talk about it at all.” I was hungry, on the one hand, and their food was really delicious, the way they were making it. They were persuading and they were promising, and I thought, “If all these people are going to hell, why worry? I can also go to hell. In fact, without all my friends, what am I going to do in heaven? With those Jaina monks it is not going to be good company. I don’t like them and they are not going to like me either. The people I like are these, and these are all going to hell, that is certain.” That had been told to me from the very beginning – that eating in the night is the greatest sin.
Now it’s strange…but in Mahavira’s time perhaps there was some point in it because there was no light in most of the people’s houses. People were so poor that they used to eat in darkness, so they could eat any insect, anything. Mahavira’s concern was not the night, his concern was that people not eat insects, ants, any living thing. And that was his trouble: if you eat any living thing, you have committed a sin. So to keep the question completely closed, he declared, “To eat in the night is a sin.” He cut the whole situation from the very roots. But now more light is available than there is in the day, now there is no problem. But the scriptures were written twenty-five centuries ago, and Mahavira has closed the door. Nothing can be added, nothing can be deleted. The final word is there.
So I thought that at the most I would be going to hell, but all my friends would be there and they were good cooks – it would be worth it. So I said, “Okay.” But I was not aware of the phenomenon of conscience, up to that moment. I ate with them. It was delicious, and I was hungry. The whole day moving around for miles on the mountain had made me even more hungry. But somewhere deep down there was a revolt. I started feeling nauseous, and as I finished I started vomiting. There was nothing wrong with their food because nobody else had the nausea, nobody was vomiting; it was not food poisoning or anything. Until I had thrown all the food out, I could not sleep. It took me almost half the night to be clean of that food, and then I could go to sleep.
That day I discovered that the nausea was not because of the food, but because of those sixteen years’ conditioning, the continual hammering of the idea that eating in the night is a sin. Now, it was psychological poisoning absolutely, not food poisoning, and it had been done by the priest, by the monks, by my parents, by my society.

Conscience is the constable inserted within you by the society. The society tries to control you and your behavior in two ways: a constable outside, a court outside, a judge outside, a jail outside; and a conscience inside, fear of punishment, fear of hell – God the judge, his court – before him you cannot hide anything. You will be standing naked, with all your sins written all over you. There is no possibility of hiding.
So society up to now has used a very subtle technology: create conscience by repeating that certain things are sin, certain things are virtue. Virtue is going to be rewarded a thousandfold. Here you give just one rupee as a donation, and in heaven you will get one thousand rupees reward. Now, they are playing on your greed. This is good business.
This is almost a lottery – sure and certain. It is not a question that your number may come, may not come. You give one rupee here to the brahmin – remember, don’t make any mistake: “The brahmin,” the scripture says: “Give it to the brahmin, not to anybody else” – brahmins are writing the scripture! Give to the brahmin, and whatsoever you give, you will receive one thousandfold from God in heaven. That is a promise from God. And the brahmin will stand as a witness to you.
In brahmin books it is said, “When you donate to a brahmin, never donate an old cow which does not give milk anymore.” Great! – because that’s what people do in India. When a cow becomes very old, what to do with the cow? It does not give you any milk anymore, it does not give you any more calves which can be used in farming as cows or bulls. It is too old and an unnecessary burden on you. Either you give it to a butcher – that means you are a partner in the slaughter of the cow. In fact, you are the major partner: if you had not given it to the butcher, he could not have killed it. You gave it to the butcher; you will have to suffer the responsibility.
And do you know what brahmin scriptures say? To kill a cow is almost equivalent to killing ten brahmins. To kill one brahmin is equivalent to killing ten human beings. So who is going to sell it to a butcher? And you cannot get much money from the butcher either. The best way is to donate it to a brahmin. So people used to donate them.
Brahmins knew that this was what was happening. Brahmins were in difficulty: they cannot refuse the donation; a donation has to be accepted gratefully. Now, what to do with this old cow? The brahmin cannot sell it to the butcher. Now, the brahmin himself is poor. And these old cows of the village will start gathering around him. So he has to write in his scripture – it is not God’s word, because why should God be bothered? – that a brahmin should not be given an old cow as a donation: the emphasis is on “an old cow.” You should give the brahmin a young cow who is giving enough milk, then you will be rewarded.
So these people who function as mediators between you and God, between you and heaven, are really the most cunning people. They have destroyed what is most precious in you, your consciousness. They have covered it layer upon layer. Your consciousness has gone down deep; on top of it are layers of conditioning.
You ask: in my religion is there a place for sin? Impossible. Sin is an invention of the priest, and I am not a priest. Sin is the technique of the pseudo-religion, and I am not a messiah or an avatara or a paigambara. I am not creating a pseudo-religion. Pseudo-religion absolutely needs the concept of sin, because through sin it will make you guilty. Through guilt it will make you tremble inside. Now, somehow you have to be cleaned of guilt.
Brahmin scriptures say, “Don’t be afraid. You donate to the brahmin and your guilt will be forgiven.” But donate to the brahmin – and according to the guilt of course. If your guilt is big, your sin is big, then you have to donate more. Then make temples….

Birla was the biggest monopolist and a super-rich man in India. He was making hundreds of temples all over the country. The country is full of temples. People need houses; they don’t get them. God needs no house, and in India you will find millions of temples. In a city like Varanasi, for four houses you will find three temples. Who lives there? People are living on the streets – and millions of temples are empty, millions of churches are empty, millions of mosques are empty.
Birla was making beautiful temples, great temples wherever he could manage. I had a meeting with him. This old man I was talking about, Seth Govinddas, was a friend of Jugal Kisore Birla, the head of the Birla family. When Govinddas became more and more interested in me, he started talking about me with other people. He talked with Jugal Kisore Birla also, and told him that when I come to Delhi, “You have to meet him one time.”
When I next came to Delhi, I was staying with Govinddas. He told me, “Jugal Kisore is very interested in you – and he is an old man; it doesn’t look good that we should tell him to come here, and he is sick also. So on your behalf, I have promised that I will bring you to his house.”
I said, “If you have promised, then it is okay. But what is the purpose? To me, whatever he does is idiotic. He is wasting an immense amount of money on making marble temples all over the country, and he thinks he is earning virtue for paradise; because that is what the scriptures say: make a temple and you will get a palace, a marble palace, in paradise. So he is calculating – he is a businessman, he is calculating how many marble palaces he is going to get in heaven. He should be the richest there too, if he can manage it – and all this money will be left here when he dies.” He never believed in his sons: they would waste the money, and everything would go down the drain. Before that happens, why not transfer the whole money to paradise? This was a simple bank transfer that he was doing.
I said, “He is idiotic, but if you have promised, I will come.”
I went there. He was very respectful. He welcomed me and he said – immediately, the moment I sat – he said, “I want you to do two things. I have heard about you from many people. Govinddas is only one” – they were of the same caste, and in some way related to each other – “so I had not agreed to it with anybody else but Govinddas, because he will keep it private. I don’t want anybody to know that we had a meeting.”
I said, “You are worried about having a meeting with me? I was thinking I was worried. I have just come because Govinddas had promised you, otherwise I would not have come. If you had simply invited me, I would have refused.” I said to Govinddas, “Look. You persuaded me that he is old and sick, that’s why I have come. And what he is saying is that he wants to keep it a secret. Now what is the point of meeting such a cowardly man? And what can he do? And what can he understand from me?” But I said, “Yes, I have come, so you tell me what you want, because you have invited me. So you just tell me.”
He said, “I have heard about you, and I know about you. If you can do two things, I am ready to give all the financial support you want. I will give you a blank check.”
I said, “You tell me about those two things. The blank check I’m not that much interested in; I want to know about those two things, because they must be idiotic.”
And they were idiotic. One was: “You go around the world spreading Hinduism, and I will give you all financial support. Convert as many people to Hinduism as possible. And second: create a movement in the country so that the government is forced to stop cow slaughter. If you can do these two things, don’t worry about finances.”
I said, “I am not worrying about finances at all. You keep your blank check to yourself – I will never need it. I am not so stupid that I should waste my time changing a Christian into a Hindu, dragging him from one well and throwing him into another. I would be unnecessarily wasting my time. He was drowning perfectly in one, happily drowning; now to unnecessarily pull him out…and it will take much effort to pull him out, because others who are in that well, they will pull him back. They will not allow him to get out of the hole, because nobody wants anybody to get out of his hole, his power. And anyway, if somehow I can manage to pull him out, then I have to throw him in another well – so what is the point of it all? Just for your blank check? And my life is wasted unnecessarily.
“He will be in the same game. Perhaps the jargon will be different. Now he will be carrying the Gita instead of the Bible, but he will be carrying a book, worshipping a book. Now instead of Christ he will be talking about Krishna.” And you will be surprised that linguistic scholarship has found that Christ is nothing but a formation of the word Krishna. Moving from Sanskrit to Bangla, it becomes Christo; from Krishna it becomes Christo. From Bengal…now you can see very easily Christo becoming Christ. The Greek word Christ is nothing but a transliteration of the word Krishna.
So I told him, “In fact, between Christ and Krishna there is no difference at all; they are both the same word. And I am not interested at all in this kind of absolutely unnecessary work. If you want, I can drag people from their wells, whether the well is Christian, Hindu, Jew, Mohammedan – but on one condition: that I will let them be free and make them aware, ‘Now don’t fall into another well.’ If you want that, I can do it. I will be pulling Hindus out too, because to me it makes no difference. Whoever is drowning in the well, whether Hindu, Christian, Muslim, I have to draw out. And as far as your second proposition is concerned….”
Humanity is dying. Perhaps twenty, thirty years more, and this earth will be dead, because man has behaved so wrongly with himself, with others, with nature, with the environment. For the whole of his history he has been preparing for an ultimate war – only one preparation, one goal. And now he has come very close to the goal; he has everything that is needed to destroy this whole earth. In fact we have seven hundred times more nuclear energy than is needed to destroy this small earth. We can destroy seven hundred earths like this – that much energy is already stored up. And we are piling it up every day, nobody knows for what…” and you want me to be worried about cows not being slaughtered? If there is no man on the earth, do you think there will be any cow…or any crow? “With man, the whole of life will disappear. So if you are really interested in life, then the most important thing right now is to save man from himself.”
He said, “I knew beforehand, I told Govinddas that whatsoever I had heard about this man is dangerous. There is no possibility of us working together.”
I said, “You are saying ‘working together’ – I will be working against you my whole life. And I don’t need your blank check, but still, if you have courage and some mettle in your being, give me the blank check. And I will be fighting against you!”
The man turned to Govinddas and he said, “Take this man away from here. I am very sick, old, and he may give me a heart attack.”
I told him, “A heart attack will do much good for you. At least you will stop making these temples around the country. You know perfectly well millions of people have no houses.”
And in India, the people who have houses…you cannot conceive what kind of houses they are. Those who have not, in a way their position is clear. But those who have houses – they are not worth calling houses at all. I have been traveling in villages…not a single house will have a bathroom, not a single house will have an outhouse, a latrine. No, you have to go out by the side of the river or the tank, or wherever water is available you go there. People are doing everything there – and people are drinking the same water. I had to stop going into villages, it was so ugly, so inhuman.
And what is a house in India? Just a shed which you would not even make for a cow. They are living with their cows and their bulls and their other animals in the same house. And the families are joined, so in one house you may have thirty people, forty people, with all the animals. Every house is Noah’s ark. All the species…and such a smell! So much stink that even thinking of it I feel immensely sorry for people.
But that is not only the case in India, it is all over the third world. In Africa, in China – it is all over the third world. And you are making temples for God! God can live very easily in the open sky; there is no trouble for him. He is all-powerful. The cold will not give him pneumonia or double pneumonia, rains will not make him wet, hot sun will not burn him, so why bother making houses for God?
But the problem is greed. Hinduism has been telling Hindus, “Make houses for God – then you will be rewarded.” Christians are saying, “Make houses for the poor, hospitals for the poor, schools for the poor, orphans, old people, sick people, then you will be rewarded.” But the desire of both is to be rewarded. Only one motive is dominating all the religions.

In my vision, a truly religious person can have the idea of mistakes, errors, but cannot have the idea of sin. A true religious person cannot create in somebody else the wound of guilt, because that is for a specific reason: if you want to be a messiah then you have to create sin, then you have to create guilt.
The man who initiated Jesus into disciplehood, John the Baptist – his only message his whole life was, “Repent, repent, repent, because the messiah is coming. So get ready. Repent for your sins and get ready.” But how do you repent? First, guilt is needed – you have to feel guilty. So feel guilty, repent, and the messiah will come to save you.

I am reminded of a small Sunday school in a village. All the children come to the Sunday school, and the priest teaches them and he asks, after his long sermon about the beauties, joys, the glories of heaven that Christians are going to get…and all the children are excited, really excited to get quickly into the bus and go to heaven. Why waste time here? Then in the end he asks, “Now, tell me what is absolutely necessary to go to heaven?” One small kid raises his hand. The priest says, “Yes, stand up and tell me what is needed.”
The child says, “To commit sin.”
The priest says, “What! I have been telling you not to commit sin and you are answering that to get to heaven you have to commit sin!”
He says, “Yes. It is according to your sermon that I have concluded that unless you commit sin you cannot be guilty. If you are not guilty, how will you repent? And if you don’t repent, then there is no way. Commit sin first. Feel guilty, repent, and the messiah comes and takes you to heaven.”
I think the child is absolutely arithmetical, logical. What he is saying was absolutely right. This is how religions have been managing: commit sin. If you don’t commit sin, they will show you that you are committing, although you do not know it. You must be doing something – that is enough! Out of that something it can be found. If you are not doing anything at all, that too is enough.
I was talking to a bishop, and said, “If a person simply sits silently, doing nothing, at least then he is not committing a sin. You will allow that much.”
He said, “No. God has sent you here to do something – service, duty – and you are sitting doing nothing. That’s a great sin.”
I said, “Then all the Buddhist monks have gone to hell, because that’s what they teach: just sit silently and do nothing. Only in that way will you become conscious.”
And when you become conscious, the conscience simply falls apart, because it is an artifact, artificially created by the society. It may be Jewish, it may be Catholic, it may be Protestant, or whatsoever; communist, socialist, fascist, whatsoever.
Your consciousness arises in silence, and it arises only in silence, because your whole energy is not going anywhere else, is not involved in action. So when the whole energy is not involved in action, where is it going to go? It starts collecting at the very center of your being, like a pillar, a solid pillar of energy, which throws off the conscience and all the ideas of sin and all the ideas of guilt. But remember, with that also goes the messiah, the rabbi, the priest. With that goes God, the Devil, heaven, hell – the whole nonsense that has been thought of, up to now, as religion. That is not religion.
I don’t have any need of the concept of sin. In my commune you cannot commit sin. For three, four years you have been here; has anybody committed a sin? Now, four thousand people are living here for four years and not a single sin has been committed; can you think of this happening in a Catholic monastery? Four thousand of you living in a Catholic monastery, twenty-four hours a day…sin and sin and sin, and nothing else will be happening. Anything you do…you will smoke a cigarette and you are committing a sin. You may be loving toward a woman and you are committing a sin. You may enjoy one day to sleep a little longer and you are committing a sin. You may love to read a book which the Vatican has put on the black list…. My books are on the black list. Even the books in which I have spoken on Jesus, and spoken very considerately so that nobody is offended – even those books!
By mistake, one Christian press in England, Sheldon, which is owned by a Christian association, published my books. First they published The Mustard Seed, then they became interested in me. Then they published other books, and the Sheldon Press people became involved with me. They forgot they are part of the Christian association, they are owned by the Christians, and they are publishing the books which the Vatican has put on the black list! Eight books they published. Then it was made clear to them that there had been some mistake. Now they have dropped all the eight books, they have returned all the copyrights.
Every year, the Vatican goes on putting together the black list, which books you should read, which books you should not read. Right now they cannot do what they used to do in the past: in the past they used to burn the books. In the basement of the Vatican, just in the basement of St. Peter’s church, there is an immense library of all the books that they have burned in the past. One copy they have saved, but thousands…that means they have burned thousands of books, completely removed them from the whole earth. Wherever those books were found, they were burned. And whosoever resisted was killed or he was also burned with the books.
In the library of the Vatican they don’t allow anybody. That library should be taken over by UNO, immediately. It is not the property of the Vatican. And that library may reveal thousands of truths, inventions, discoveries which the popes down the ages have prevented from happening by burning the books. Now they cannot do that, but at least they can do one thing: they can publish, secretly, a black list. And they can put any book on that black list; then no Catholic is allowed to read it. If you read it you are committing a sin, a great sin – disobeying the pope, who is infallible.
I don’t see there is any need of sin. Yes, you are human beings and you will live like human beings, and sometimes you may commit a mistake. For example, if you are smoking a cigarette it may be a mistake, it may be a fault, but you are doing enough harm to yourself, you need not be punished in hell for it. You are punishing yourself enough. That cigarette may give you tuberculosis or may give you cancer, or at least will reduce your life by a few years. The cigarette will do it itself, there is no need for any Devil to come and take you to hell and burn you there. You are doing it yourself, and paying for it. It is nobody else’s business; you pay for it, and you burn yourself – perfectly good.
But if you become conscious, cigarettes will disappear. So I don’t say don’t smoke – that will become a commandment. I say become more conscious. And if, in your consciousness, the cigarette disappears…. It is bound to disappear, because a conscious man cannot be so stupid that he will take the smoke inside, and then throw it out, and take it in again, and throw it out…poisoning himself, poisoning the atmosphere – and paying for it, on top of it all.
Your actions are not my concern; your consciousness is.
If your consciousness allows you to do something, it is right – do it. Don’t be worried by any holy scriptures, by any prophets. And if your consciousness does not allow you to do something, then don’t do it. Even if God says to you, “Do it!” there is no way – you cannot do it.
So it is not a question of your actions. I don’t decide about your actions. I am giving you the master key, rather than deciding each simple, single action, whether it is right or wrong – that is a very impossible job.
I told you Buddhist monks have thirty-three thousand rules. That’s how they came about, because they would go to Buddha with each single thing and ask whether it was right or wrong. And he would make a rule that this was right and that was wrong. One man made thirty-three thousand rules! It is good that for twenty-five centuries this has not continued, otherwise…. You are doing millions of things: I am not going to bother about each single small thing that you do.
My concern is very fundamental, very foundational: your consciousness.
I am not concerned with your doing, I am concerned with your doer. And once that doer is awake, it is impossible to do anything wrong. Then whatsoever you do is right. So if you ask me what is right, what is wrong, I will say: anything that you do consciously is right, anything that you do unconsciously is wrong. But I am not using the word sin at all. Even if you are doing something wrong, it is just an ordinary, human mistake, for which nobody needs to invent hell, nobody needs to invent heaven, nobody needs to come and redeem you and liberate you. You are the only one who has allowed himself to be fettered by others.
Now, please remember one thing: others can fetter you, but nobody can redeem you.
Only you can redeem yourself, and that is by stopping others fettering you, putting more and more heavy chains on you, making bigger and bigger walls around you. You are your own messiah, your own salvation.

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