Question – Are you the beginning of a new religion?

Osho : I am certainly the beginning of something which is far more precious than any religion can be. I am also the end of all the old religions.

The old religions have not helped humanity to progress in consciousness, in being. On the contrary they have hindered man’s growth, his spirituality, in every possible way. The old religions became simply a facade of politics. In the name of religion, politics has reigned all over the world. One thing that is most important to understand is that truth cannot be organized. The moment you organize it, you kill it.

Truth is an individual experience, and it can never become a collective phenomenon. Those who have attained the experience of it were individuals, not crowds, not mobs, not Hindus, not Mohammedans, not Christians, not Jews; but just individuals. Moses is an individual, just as Mahavira is; Gautam Buddha is an individual just as Jesus Christ is. They experience something in their aloneness, in their silence, in their innermost shrine of being. The church is not outside, it is within you.

But the Christians are looking for the truth in a church which is outside. They are looking for truth in a collectivity, in a crowd, and it is clear to anybody who has a little bit of intelligence that in two thousand years they have not produced a single Jesus Christ again; neither have the Buddhists been able to produce in twenty-five centuries another Gautam Buddha.

And it is not that people have not worked hard. People have worked tremendously hard; down the centuries millions of people have sacrificed themselves and everything they had to become enlightened. But nothing has happened; there seems to be something fundamental missing. They forgot one thing: that Gautam Buddha was not following anybody, and they are following Gautam Buddha; that Jesus Christ was not following anybody, and they are following Jesus Christ. That is the point where they missed.

You have to be just yourself, individual, not a carbon copy of anybody else. You have to assert your original face. Existence believes in originality, not in imitation. There are millions of Christians, but not a single Christ.

I am reminded of Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement — he said that the first Christian and the last Christian died on the cross two thousand years ago, the first and the last. Then what are these crowds doing? Almost half of humanity is Christian. What is this half of humanity doing if the first and the last Christian has already died two thousand years ago? They are simply deceiving themselves. The days of organized religion are finished.

I declare a totally different conception. I will not even call it religion because that word is associated with the old religions; I will call it only religiousness. I am the beginning of religiousness. Religion is bound to be Hindu, bound to be Mohammedan, bound to be Christian. Religiousness need not be Hindu, how can it be Hindu? How can it be Mohammedan? If love cannot be Hindu, cannot be Christian, if silence cannot be Jewish, then why should religiousness — a quality, a fragrance — have any adjective to it?

Yes, I am the beginning of something new, but not the beginning of a new religion. I am the beginning of a new kind of religiousness which knows no adjectives, no boundaries; which knows only freedom of the spirit, silence of your being, growth of your potential; and finally the experience of godliness within yourself — not of a God outside you, but a godliness overflowing from you.

The old religions are just corpses, stinking; still they are immensely powerful, because the whole past has given them prestige, authority. And nobody wants to leave power and authority. They go on manipulating humanity, exploiting human beings; they go on keeping you retarded. They don’t want you to evolve, because the moment you evolve and you become intelligent, you will be free from the bondage which is their vested interest.

Anybody who is intelligent cannot be a Hindu, cannot be a Mohammedan, cannot be a Christian, — because all these religions have done so many ugly actions in the past, they have killed millions of people, burned people alive in the name of God, in the name of love. They have been simply destructive; they have not enhanced beauty, they have not contributed to humanity in any way. They are parasites. They have sucked you for centuries, they have been living on your blood.

It is time that churches should be transformed into schools, into hospitals. Temples and mosques, synagogues and gurudwaras should be used for art galleries, music schools, for teaching painting and sculpture. And the priests should cease to exist. It is ugly; the priesthood should simply disappear from the earth, because man does not need anybody to mediate between himself and existence.

I am reminded of a great master, Lao Tzu. He used to go every day for a morning walk. One of his neighbors asked him, “A friend has come to visit me. He is a poet, a lover of beauty, and he is also very much interested in you. He wants to accompany you tomorrow morning on your morning walk.”
Lao Tzu said, “I have no objection, except a simple condition: that he should not speak while we are walking in the mountains.”
The friend said, “That’s acceptable.”

All three started the next day before sunrise. It was a beautiful calm and quiet early morning; and then the sun started rising above the hills, and with it the flowers started opening and the birds started singing. The poet forgot about the condition. He said, “How beautiful!” Just two words, and then he remembered. He didn’t say anything more.

Back home, Lao Tzu called the neighbor and said, “Your friend is too talkative; I cannot afford to have him again. And he is stupid too. I was there, listening to the songs of the birds, seeing the sun rising, listening to the wind passing through the trees, hearing the sound of running water. No mediator is needed. What can he add by saying, ‘How beautiful!’? He simply disturbed.”

Existence and you are enough. There is no need for any agent between you and existence to interpret, to say, “How beautiful!”, to take messages from you to existence and bring messages from existence to you. That’s what the priests have been doing down the ages; they have kept you away from reality. They have been standing between you and reality.

A truly religious person does not need anybody between himself and the sunrise, between himself and the stars in the sky, between himself and the fragrance of the flower. It is all divine, you just have to be open to it.

When the priesthood is dissolved, organized religions finished, then humanity will be one. Otherwise, they have created so many barriers between man and man. Every evening since I came here I have gone for a walk. The first day one man said, “Osho, this is not pranam that I am doing to you; this is salaam.” Pranam is Hindu, salaam is Mohammedan.
I said to him, “To me, both mean the same.”
The second day he said, “I have come again.”
I said, “That’s good, but don’t say what you said on the first day.”

Why create barriers? It is the same experience. A loving welcome… whether you call it pranam or whether you call it salaam, does it make any difference? But in his mind there must be great difference, that he wanted to indicate to me that he is a Mohammedan. Just to be human is enough. To be Mohammedan, to be Hindu, to be Christian is to be below your humanity, is to fall from your height, is to lose your dignity.

Yes, I am the beginning of something new. You can call it religiousness, but don’t call it religion.

Source – Osho Book “The Last Testament, Vol 5″

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