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The Truth About Religious People

Osho says: The authentically religious person is neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Cristian, nor Jaina, nor Buddhist. An authentic religious person is simply a prayerful person, a loving person, a creative person – a man who has the golden touch; whatever he touches becomes beautiful and valuable.

It is not possible that our houses remain in hell and once in a while, for an hour, we can enter a temple and find heaven – that is not possible. Unless you are twenty-four hours in heaven, you cannot enter into a temple and suddenly change – suddenly drop your jealousies, your anger, your hatred, your competitiveness, your ambitions, your politics. You cannot simply drop all your ugliness.

You can pretend, you can be a hypocrite… and in fact all the people who are visiting temples of any religion are hypocrites, because their other twenty-three hours show their reality. For only one hour, they cannot become a different being.

A religious person has to understand that it is not a question of believing in a certain theology; it is not a question of believing in a certain tradition. It is a question of transforming yourself in such a way that compassion becomes your very heartbeat, that gratitude becomes your very breathing, that wherever you are, your eyes can see the divine – in the trees, in the mountains, in people, in animals, in birds. Unless you can make the whole existence your temple, you are not religious.

Wherever you move, you are always in a temple, because you are always in a temple, because you are always surrounded by that mysterious energy that people have called “God”. A few others have given it other names – they differ only in names. But one thing is certain: we are not living in a mundane universe. On each step there is a mystery, and there are mysteries beyond mysteries. If you are simply aware of all the mysteries, your worship will be to make everything as worthy of God as possible.

I would like every house, every kitchen, every bedroom, to be a temple. And I would like you to behave with everybody… He may be your enemy, but still he has deep in his being the same source of life you have. You have to be respectful to his being, as much as you are respectful to your friend. Your wife should be as much respected as any goddess in any temple.

I cannot believe that people who have been pretending up to now to be religious, have behaved with women in such a barbarous way, and they have not seen any shadow of God in the woman. The same religious people have behaved with the poorest of the poor – the sudras, the untouchables – as inhuman beings. They could not see. They could see gods in stone statues, but they could not see in living beings that a god is throbbing in their hearts just as he is throbbing within you.

I want to say it with absolute certainty: these people were not religious. Just as civilization has not happened yet, religion also has not happened yet. We have to create the space where religion, civilization, and culture can happen. They are different aspects of the same consciousness, of the same awareness.

Osho, From the book ‘Ten Non-Commandments’  

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