"All other religions believe that God is creating the world; it is a serious affair. Only Hinduism makes it non-serious. Hinduism says it is just a play, a game of hide-and-seek. It is God who is hiding, it is God who is seeking; it is God in men, it is God in women. To Hinduism, existence is made of the stuff called God, and it is not a creation. The concept of creation has implications which Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism are incapable of answering."
"First: Why in the first place should God create? What is His need? One creates something because of a certain need. You create a house because you need a shelter. You create because there is a certain desire to be fulfilled. Is God full of desires? Then what is the difference between man and God? Is God in need? If even God is in need then there is no possibility of a state where you will be free of need: need is going to follow you like a shadow wherever you go, and you can never be free from it – and unless you are free from need, desire, wanting, you are a slave, and you will remain a slave."
"A God who has a certain need to create is a slave."
"The implications are very significant. Was it compulsory for Him to create, or was it optional? If it was compulsory, then God is not all-powerful. Somebody above Him orders Him to create, and there is no option, He has to do it. Or if you say it was optional, then the question arises, Why does He choose to create rather than not to create? There must be some reason for choosing to."
"What reason can God have to choose creation? Then that reason becomes more important than God Himself If even God has to follow rationality, then why should you have to bother about God? You should think about being reasonable, following reason, which even God cannot throw away."
"Why did God create at a certain moment, at a certain time?"
"What was He doing before that?"
"For eternity He was unemployed. What was that fellow doing all that time?
Sleeping? In a coma? Drunk, or what?"
"And suddenly one day He starts creating. There is no reason that Christian theology, Mohammedan religion, or Judaism can supply as to why, at a certain moment, there was this urge to create. In fact the urge to create is something biological, sexual."
"Sexual energy is your creative energy."
"Women have not been great painters and poets and sculptors for the simple reason that their desire to create is immensely fulfilled by bringing up children. To give birth to a child, alive, radiant – what else can be compared to it? You create a painting; howsoever beautiful, it is a dead thing after all. You can create music, you can create song.
But what are they compared to a beautiful child?
Just look into the eyes of a child and all your paintings are nothing.
The child smiles, and all your songs fall flat on the ground.
The child tries to walk, and the joy when the child feels "I can walk."
All your science, all your art, are nothing compared to that joy.
And when the child speaks for the first time, have you seen the ecstasy?"
"Why does God have to create? Either God is not He but She.... Then God is a woman, and this whole universe is Her womb. But then you are bringing God down to the same level of biology as man, as animals, as anybody else....
"Or, God is a man but feels somehow inferior to some woman about whom we don't know anything. With which woman is He feeling competitive? There must be a woman in His life, and He feels incompetent, inferior. By creating this whole universe He wants to prove to the woman, "Look, this is creation." But then God is no longer God: He is just as human, as animal as we are. "Creation" is indefensible."
"And what kind of creation has He made? If He is serious – and creation has to be serious – then this life with so much misery, so much suffering, which finally ends in death and darkness, has no meaning at all. If He wanted to create, there was no need to create such a miserable existence, full of anguish, suffering, agony: an existence which is more a curse than a blessing."
"One of Dostoevsky's characters in his greatest work, BROTHERS KARAMAZOV.... It is perhaps the greatest novel in the whole world, in any language. One of the Karamazovs – there are three brothers, and one of them says, "If I meet God, all that I want is to return my ticket and for Him to tell me where the exit is. Everywhere I see the entrance, but where is the exit? And who is He, that without asking me, produced me, created me? On what authority? – I was not even asked whether I want to be created; I was not given any alternative."
"This is totalitarian, absolutely dictatorial. God seems to be some magnified Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. You were not asked, and yet you have to suffer. You were not asked, and you have been given instincts for which you will suffer here and perhaps hereafter."
"The same theologians, the same priests, go on telling you to destroy your instinctive life completely. God gives instincts to you: he is responsible. If anybody has to suffer in hell it is only He alone; nobody else is responsible for anything."
"A murderer comes with the instinct to murder. A rapist comes with the instinct to rape. Who is responsible for all this? Yet these religions go on telling you that you are responsible. God is the creator and you are responsible? – and you were not even asked, What instincts do you want? If you had chosen to be a rapist, a murderer, then of course it would be your responsibility and you would have to suffer the consequences. But you simply come with an inbuilt program, so whoever programs you, only He and nobody else is responsible."
"Alan Watts understood very clearly that he could not answer this question which has been raised in the East again and again. Hinduism has found an answer; at least it appears to be an answer. Certainly it is better than the idea of creation, but it has its own problems – which Alan Watts was not aware of because he was not well trained in the Eastern roots of religion. It appealed to him – the idea of leela, play, seemed to be far better. Life is nothing serious; it is just a game, a play, a drama."
"In a drama you may become a thief; that does not mean that you have become a thief – you just play the role. In a drama you may become an incarnation of God, Rama, Krishna; that does not mean that you have become an incarnation of God, but on the stage before the audience it is accepted without any question. Questioning it would be absolutely foolish: everybody knows that everybody is playing a role."
"Hinduism says that this whole existence is just a drama and God is just playing a game. The word leela, playfulness, takes away seriousness and its implications. But it brings in new implications: Why can't God sit silently? – because the people who teach that God is playing a game also teach, "Sit silently in meditation." Why can't He sit silently in meditation and stop all this nonsense?"
"But Alan Watts could not ask that question; it may not have occurred to him, but it can occur to me: What is the point of all this nonsense? All Hindu sages are teaching: Sit silently, unmoving, without any thought, utterly silent, then only will you taste what religion is. It seems God has never tasted religion – he is continuously playing."
"But this mad Hindu God... no time to sleep, no time to study, no time for anything else: just playing and playing and playing. He seems to be obsessed. And what a big play! – infinite, eternal. And why should He go on playing? Is He not tired? And the same game...."
"But what is God's difficulty? Why does the same game go on and on? And is He still entertained? – He must be an idiot. If this is entertainment, even an idiot will start feeling bored: the same type of people continue being born, the same love affairs, the same children, again and again – and the wheel goes on moving. The same spokes come up and go down; again they come up and again they go down. It is the same wheel, the same spokes."
"I am not worried about the wheel, I am worried about the man who goes on moving it – for what purpose? Of course you cannot ask Hindus about the purpose as you can the Christians – not with the same emphasis, because it is a play. But I still ask: play is okay, if once in a while He plays, it is understandable, but this continuous play, this repetitive play...? It seems that we are in the hands of a mad God."
"And then these same Hindu sages go on saying that you will suffer the consequences of your acts. Strange: God is playful and yet we are going to suffer for our acts – which are God's play! If He wants me to play the role of a thief, okay, but why should I suffer the consequences? The same people on the other hand say, "It is God's playfulness." Great! Accepted – but what about the players?"
"They should be completely freed from any consequences – it is God's play. You play cards: you get defeated, or you become victorious – you win, or you lose – but do you think something happens to the king and the queen and the joker of the cards? Whoever wins or whoever loses does not matter to them at all; they are just playing cards."
"We are just kings, queens, and jokers – mostly jokers."
Why should we suffer?
"In Hinduism there cannot be these two things together. That was my constant conflict with Hindu sages, shankaracharyas, Hindu pandits: if existence is out of playfulness then it is too much to say that we should be thrown into hellfire. If it is somebody else's play and He is never thrown into hellfire, why should we be? Both these concepts put together are absolutely opposed to each other. There is no way to make them complementary. I have tried my best – they cannot be made complementary."
"If it is God's play, all the consequences are His:
We are just puppets in His hand.
Then the law of karma is simply crap.
With a playful God, what is the meaning of worship?
You can't be serious....
If God Himself is playful, you have to be playful."
"No, to me there is no God."
"I cut the problem from the very root so there is no question of creation and no question of playfulness. Alan Watts has simply borrowed the idea from Hinduism. He shocked Christians, but to me it is nothing: it is just another kind of theology. To him it was new and very revealing, but to me nothing is very revealing: I know all the theologies. They may give different explanations but basically the same questions are relevant to all explanations. If you ask why God created the world, you can ask why does He need to play? Can't He relax? Just take a hot bath and relax? And just for His play, so many people are suffering. Is this God's playfulness? – Adolf Hitler's gas chambers.... Must be, because Hindus say, "Without His will not even a leaf can move." So how can Adolf Hitler put millions of Jews in gas chambers? Not without His support... perhaps His playfulness."
"But now playfulness becomes more serious than creation."
"Millions of Russians simply disappeared in these past sixty years. You cannot even enquire where they have gone because Stalin never believed in bothering about wasting time with people who were suspected of being against communism. Just suspicion was enough, and the man disappears. In the middle of the night the cops come; the man disappears and is never heard of again."
"Stalin never believed in putting people in prison, because if you put people in prison, sooner or later you will have to release them. And how many people can you put in prison? And how many prisons will you have to create? Economically it is meaningless because you have to feed those people, you have to clothe those people, you have to take care of their medical needs. For what? And if any day you release them they are now more confirmed enemies than ever. It would have been better not to catch them."
"Perhaps at that time it was only a suspicion – the man was not really against communism, but now he certainly would be. So Stalin simply believed in cutting off their heads, in finishing the person immediately, disposing of him. It was a shortcut, economical, and no trouble for the future."
"This is God's play? The Hindus themselves have been dying of starvation, famine, floods, earthquakes – all these things happen in India; I think no other country can compete. Every year something or other... and the country goes down and down. This is God's play – an earthquake? Just now in Bhopal a gas plant exploded. Is this God's play? Three thousand people immediately died; and it was not an easy death. I have just seen a film on it – it was terrible. Those people were just like fish thrown onto hot sand. They could not rest: the gas was making them writhe about, churning something inside them. They died the most terrible death you can conceive; and one hundred thousand people are still waiting to die in the hospitals."
"Is this God's play? No.
"If this is play then what can crime be?
"What can sin be?"
"I reject God completely because God is simply a problem which idiots have invented thinking that He will solve all your problems."
"God has become the only problem which cannot be solved. Whatsoever you do with Him, He remains a question mark – unnecessarily."
"I simply want to cut the very root:
There is no God.
There is no creation.
There is no play going on."
"Existence is enough unto itself; it does not need any outside agency. It has its own energy, it has its own intelligence, it has its own life. Existence needs no hypothetical God. And God doesn't help anything."
"Remember one fundamental principle of all sane thinking: Don't bring in a hypothesis which doesn't help to solve anything. On the contrary, because of the hypothesis a thousand other problems start arising. A hypothesis is brought in to solve problems, not to increase them."
"God is the most useless hypothesis ever propounded by man. Because of Him there has been so much trouble, so many crusades, so many butchering, so many people slaughtered, so many women raped – in the name of God. Please just flush Him down the toilet."
"Forget about God.
Existence is enough unto itself
That's what I teach.
"And then we cannot throw the responsibility on anybody's head: there is no God, then the whole responsibility falls on us. That is my hidden desire."
"Why am I throwing God down the toilet?"
"Because I want man to understand that he is responsible. Because man has the highest consciousness in the whole of existence, you should accept the greatest responsibility. Stars, trees, animals, birds are far below you; you cannot throw the responsibility on them."
To be conscious means you are mature enough now to accept all responsibility for yourself and for the existence that surrounds you."
"Then the explosion in the gas factory in Bhopal is our responsibility. It was some stupid people there who were not careful enough; it was carelessness. And I would not like these people to be punished in hell – no, there is no hell – they should be punished herenow so such an accident does not happen again. There are thousands of similar factories around the world: if it can happen in one factory it can happen in any factory. And this was only a poisonous gas. Now there are nuclear plants: just one man's carelessness and the world can be finished"
"You have created things which are so dangerous, but you have not created a comparable consciousness which can be careful about these things."
"Increasing man's consciousness has to be done."
"The responsibility is man's."
"God has been a very dangerous hypothesis: It took all responsibility from you."
"God was responsible for everything and you were not responsible for anything at all. He created everything, He will dissolve everything. He sends His son to save you. You are just a puppet: you can be saved, you can be created. And what a humiliating way He created you – with mud!"
"If humanity has become irresponsible it is because of God, not in spite of Him. It is because of Him and because of all the religions that have been teaching you that God created the world, and God is compassionate and kind. All rubbish. He is not there at all. And what kindness? What compassion? He is a creation of the cunning priesthood because without Him they cannot exploit. That is an absolutely necessary hypothesis for exploiting man."
"Drop the idea of God and suddenly you will feel a freedom, spaciousness, an expansion and a great responsibility.
There is just nobody above you.
You are the highest peak of creation, of existence, of life.
There is nobody above you.
A sense of great responsibility arises in you.
To me that is what makes you religious."
"You start feeling responsible for all the animals, the birds. How can you be violent to them? How can you go on eating meat? Impossible. You are the highest in consciousness, and this is what you are doing to poor animals? You cannot afford to do it. With responsibility, your humanity becomes awake. For the first time you can raise your head and you can stand straight."
Freedom and responsibility come together. And when the joy of freedom and the joy of responsibility meet, it is so great that I have called that moment, the moment of ecstasy. Then you are so blessed that you can bless the whole existence."
"People ask me what, in my religion, will be the place of worship, of devotion, because they think worship and devotion are impossible without a God.I want to say to you that they are impossible with a God. The whole idea of God is so ugly that I cannot be devoted to such an idiotic hypothesis. I cannot worship God, I don't see any reason to worship Him."
"To me devotion is the refined quality of love. It has nothing to do with to whom. It is not a question of to whom it is addressed: Jehovah, God, Jesus, Buddha. It is not a question of it being addressed."
"Devotion is a quality in your heart.
You feel full of reverence for everything that is."
You feel a great love for all that is."
"But the mind has some difficulty in accepting the idea that something is there which is not explainable. Mind has a very mad urge for everything to be explained... if not explained, then at least explained away. Anything that remains a puzzle, a paradox, goes on troubling your mind."
"The whole history of philosophy, religion, science, mathematics, has the same root, the same mind – the same itch. You may scratch yourself one way, somebody else may do it differently, but the itch has to be understood. The itch is the belief that existence is not a mystery: mind can only feel at home if somehow existence is demystified."
"Religion has done it by creating God, the Holy Ghost, the only begotten son; different religions have created different things. These are their ways to cover up a hole which is uncoverable; whatever you do the hole is there. In fact the more you cover it, the more emphatically it is there. Your very effort to cover it shows your fear that somebody is going to see the hole."
"The whole history of mind, in different branches, has been doing this patchwork – particularly in mathematics because mathematics is purely a mind game. There are mathematicians who think it is not, just as there are theologians who think God is a reality."
"God is only an idea. And if horses have ideas their God will be a horse. You can be absolutely certain it will not be man, because man has been so cruel to horses that man can only be conceived as a devil not as God. But then every animal will have its own idea of God, just as every human race has its own idea of God."
"Ideas are substitutes for where life is mysterious and you find gaps which cannot be filled by reality. You fill those gaps by ideas; and at least you start feeling satisfied that life is understood."
"Have you ever thought about this word "understand? It means standing under you. It is strange that this word has by and by taken a meaning which is far fetched from the original idea: anything that you can make stand under you, that is under your thumb, under your power, under your shoe, you are the master of."
"People have been trying to understand life in that same way, so that they could put life also underneath their feet and declare, "we are the masters. Now there is nothing which is not understood by us."
"But it is not possible. Whatever you do life is a mystery and is going to remain a mystery. Even if you I mean man someday comes to understand the whole of life, a new problem will arise: "Who is thisman, this mind, this consciousness which has understood everything? From where does it come?"
"Why has God been created? – just to solve an unresolved question: Who created the universe? From that question all the religions take the plunge into some hypothesis – God created the world...."
"But the question is exactly the same as Bertrand Russell's paradox. It is nothing different, it is just that that is mathematics and this is religion – but the problem is the same. The axiom is that anything that exists has to be created by somebody. How can it come into existence by itself? This is the problem."
"Everything that is, has been created; otherwise how can it come in the first place? So they bring in God to help you solve the problem, Who created the universe? But what are you going to do with God? Does God exist?"
"If He exists, then who created Him? If He does not exist then how could He create the universe? If He Himself does not exist, how can He create existence?"
"If He exists, then what about your basic maxim, that anything that exists needs a creator? No, about God don't ask that. That's what all the religions say – about God don't ask that. But this is strange – why not? If the question is valid about existence, why does it become invalid about God?"
"And once you ask about God, who created God, then you are falling into a regress absurdum. Then you can go on: God one, God two, God three, and you go on numbering them and... but finally the question will be the same. After thousands of Gods you will find the question stands clean, clear, untouched; not even a dent has been made in the question by all your answers. Who created existence? – it is the same question."
"To me existence is a mystery.
"There is no need for it to stand under our feet, there is no need for existence to be understood.
Live it, love it, enjoy it – be it."
"Why are you trying to understand it?"
"I am not against God, I am only against a stupid hypothesis which leads nowhere."
"I have been explaining to you continually that I want existence to be accepted as a mystery, because only as a mystery is it beautiful, livable, loveable, blissful, ecstatic.
It is good that existence cannot be demystified.
There is no way to demystify it.
And I am the last person to demystify anything.
My purpose is just the opposite."
"That's what I have been doing my whole life – mystifying everything. It is not a difficult job because people have forced demystifications on things; I simply remove the cover, the patchwork, and I give you the raw life as it is."
"There is no answer anywhere which is ultimate.
And there will never be any answer which will solve all the problems; hence, God is an impossibility because God means the ultimate answer."
"And it is good that there is no God, otherwise we would be condemned. Then there would be no possibility of any joy, freedom, exploration, ecstasy – no possibility for anything. God would have killed everything."
"I am not against God, or against Jesus Christ – or against anyone.
But I am for the truth.
If it goes against anybody, I am helpless."
(From Misery to Enlightenment # 12)
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