If you follow a religious life out of fear it will be the life of a slave, not of a man who is free….OSHO
I AM A GOD-FEARING MAN, BUT YOU SAY THAT ALL FEAR HAS TO BE DROPPED. HAS THE FEAR OF GOD ALSO TO BE DROPPED?
Fear is fear: it does not matter of what, of whom. The object makes no difference; your subjectivity is full of fear. And if you are God-fearing you can never be God-loving.
In all the languages of the world this ugly type of phrase exists: God-fearing. This is ugly, because fear and love, like light and darkness, cannot exist together. If there is fear you cannot love God. How can you love God if you are afraid of him? You may submit and surrender, but deep down there will be resistance, anger. Somewhere in your unconscious there will persist the idea of taking revenge. You cannot forgive a God of whom you are afraid.
And fear is just the opposite of love. Hate is not really the opposite of love — you will be surprised — fear is the exact opposite. Hate is love standing upside down; fear is just the opposite. You cannot be afraid of God if you understand what God is. This total universe is God. In fact, there is no God as a person; the whole existence is permeated, overflowing, with a quality called godliness. It is in the flowers and in the grass and in the stars; it is in you — it is everywhere. The whole existence is made of the stuff called godliness. God is not a person — how can you be afraid?
And if you follow a religious life out of fear it will be the life of a slave, not of a man who is free. And if you start in fear you cannot end in freedom; you will end in slavery. And all that you will do out of fear is going to be wrong; it is going to be false, superficial.
The young couple were canoeing in the middle of the lake when a sudden squall hit.
Terrified at the intensity of the wind and rain, the boy started to pray: "O Lord, save us and I'll give up smoking… I'll give up drinking… I'll give up…."
At this moment the young lady yelled, "Don't give up anything else! I think the storm is over!"
Out of fear nothing radical is possible.
If you do things out of fear you can't do them with your heart. You will be cunning, you will find ways. And whenever the fear goes you will be the same again.
Please don't be God-fearing. Be God-loving: that is my essential message.
Up to now, religion has been based on fear. That's why the earth has remained irreligious or only superficially religious. Religion has remained just something like a painted face: false, pseudo. And the basic reason why it has failed is fear.
The priests have based the religion on fear and greed — which are two aspects of the same coin. Because of fear they have created the idea of hell, to make people really God-fearing. And they have also created the idea of heaven to make people really greedy. And greed creates fear. Greed means: if you don't follow God, if you don't pray to God regularly, you may miss all the joys of heaven.
Missing the joys of heaven is a great fear-creating situation. And you will be thrown into hell, hellfire.
And in the scriptures they have invented so many methods of torture that it seems that Adolf Hitler must have read all the scriptures of the world, otherwise how had he come across so many methods to torture people?
They can be found only in religious scriptures. He must have asked the advice of knowledgeable priests, because whatsoever is written in the scriptures he managed to do in his concentration camps, in his gas chambers. And the only thing which is not written in the scriptures he also managed to do.
The priests have based their religion on two basic, ugly instincts: fear and greed. And both have nothing to do with real religion. Real religion is freedom from greed and freedom from fear.
Ramchandra, you will have to get rid of all fear. Yes, the fear of God is included in it. It has to be dropped if you really want to understand what God is. But our whole life is so covered with fear…. We love out of fear, we pray out of fear.
There are people like Dale Carnegie who write books which are sold in millions. I think his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has sold only next to The Bible — millions of copies in almost all the languages of the world. Why do people read such rubbish? And what is he teaching in those books? Cunningness, diplomacy!
He suggests that even if you don't love your wife, that is not the point. At least whenever you have a chance to say to her, "I love you," say it. Repeat it as many times as possible, because she only hears your words, she does not know your heart. Your wife is not a veterinary surgeon.
The vet has to look and decide about the disease of the animal himself, he cannot ask the animal, "How are you? How do you feel? How is your sleep?" Your wife is not a vet; she depends on your words. She does not know what goes on inside you; that is your business.
But if you just say, "Darling, I love you!" if you repeat it ten times a day, whenever you come across her — and you say it with great fervor…. Be an actor, that's what he is saying. And she will believe you, and your life will be smooth; there will be less conflict. This he calls love! This is just fear of conflict, fear that something disturbing may happen. So just keep things smooth.
Your saying again and again, "I love you," is like a lubricant. And be afraid, that is the message; if you are not afraid you will be in trouble. Wives are afraid of their husbands and husbands are afraid of their wives. Parents are afraid of their children and children are afraid of their parents. Children are afraid of their teachers and teachers are afraid of their pupils. Everybody is afraid of everybody else — it seems as if fear is the only climate we live in.
People are loving even… even love is nothing but fear — a diplomacy, a strategy, to keep things running smoothly. And that's why you pray regularly. Morning, evening, you go on praying, hoping that God will hear your prayer. There is nobody to hear your prayers! Your prayer is simply a monologue. You are praying to the empty sky. Nobody is going to reward you for your prayers, remember it.
If you really know what prayer is then prayer itself is its own reward.
There is nobody else to reward you; the reward is not there in the future, not in the after-life. But praying itself is such a beautiful phenomenon that who cares about the future and who bothers about the reward? That is greed, the idea of reward. Prayer in itself is such a celebration, it brings such great joy and ecstasy, that one prays for the prayer's sake. One does not pray out of fear and one does not pray out of greed; one prays because one enjoys it. One does not even bother whether there is a God or not.
If you enjoy dancing you don't ask whether there is a God or not. If you enjoy dancing, you simply dance! Whether anybody sees the dance from the sky or not is not your concern. Whether the stars and the sun and the moon are going to reward you for your dance, you don't care. The dance is enough of a reward in itself. If you love singing you sing; whether anybody listens or not is not the point.
So is prayer. It is a dance, it is a song, it is music, it is love. You enjoy it, and there it is finished. Prayer is the means and prayer is the end; the ends and the means are not separate. Only then do you know what prayer is. And prayer is far more important than God.
Patanjali says: God is only an excuse to pray. It is like a peg on the wall to hang your coat on. If the peg is not there you can hang your coat somewhere else. You can hang it on the door, on the window, anywhere. Patanjali has great insight when he says that God is just a peg: God has been invented because otherwise it will be difficult for you to pray. Ordinarily you think prayer is a means to reach God; Patanjali says God is only a means so that you can pray. But it is only for the beginners — to help them.
It is just like when a small child goes to school to learn the alphabet we give him a few helpful clues. We say, "D is for donkey." Now, D has nothing to do with donkey in particular; donkey is not the owner of D. D is as much for dog as it is for donkey, and D is for many things. "D is for donkey" is just to help the child, because he can visualize the donkey more easily. He giggles and enjoys — he knows the donkey perfectly well — and in this way he remembers D.
But if a grown-up reading always reads "D for donkey" and then goes on, then something has gone wrong. Then he will be in difficulty, he will not be able to read anything. "M is for monkey, and D is for donkey'… if he goes on reading that way the donkeys and monkeys will get so mixed up that he will not be able to make any sense out of it! No, the child soon learns that it was only a device.
According to Patanjali, one of the greatest masters of the world, God is a device — a device to help you to pray. Once you have learned to pray, forget all about God; prayer itself is enough, more than enough.
Prayer means surrender. Prayer means bowing down to existence. Prayer means gratitude. Prayer means thankfulness. Prayer means silence. Prayer means that "I am happy that I am." Prayer simply means that "This tremendous gift of life is so much for such an unworthy man like me. I don't deserve it, yet the unknown has showered it on me." Seeing it, gratitude arises.
You ask me: "I am a God-fearing man, but you say that all fear has to be dropped. Has the fear of God also to be dropped?"
Yes, absolutely yes. Only then you will know what God is, and only then you will know what love is, and only then you will know what being religious means, what it is all about.