Osho on Religion

Osho – Religion is possible only through courage, but usually the cowardly become religious. The temples, the churches, the mosques, are full of cowards. Their God is nothing but a projection of their fear; their prayer is nothing but a demand for protection. It is a kind of bribe. Their praise of God is not true: either they are praying because of fear or because of greed. And fear and greed are two aspects of the same coin; they are not basically different.

Hence the earth has remained irreligious in spite of so many religious people. In fact, ninety-nine percent of people are religious – somebody is a Hindu and somebody is a Christian and somebody is a Mohammedan – but religion does not exist anywhere. It has not yet found the right ground, a foothold, for itself.

And the reason is: the religion can arise only out of courage. It arises out of adventure. It is an inquiry into existence. The fearful cannot inquire. He needs consolation – and lies are very confirmative and consolative. He does not care about truth, because who knows? – truth may shatter his dreams.

He may not be able to bear it. He accumulates beautiful lies around himself. He goes on decorating those lies, he goes on repeating those lies. And when you repeat constantly a certain lie it starts looking like the truth. Repetition is a way of auto-hypnosis. So the people who are thought to be religious are not religious but only auto-hypnotized.

Sannyas is a totally different endeavor. We are trying to inquire into truth. We are not believers; we are seekers. We are not in search of a comfortable philosophy of life. Our search is for the truth and we are ready to sacrifice everything for it. Our inquiry is Socratic.

And great courage is certainly needed to go into the unknown, to risk the known. But out of courage joy arises, because out of courage you become more alive. And joy is nothing but a shadow of aliveness; and sadness is a shadow of deadness.

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