Questioner: So coming to the first question, a significant population in our world identifies as religious, and they do so for a number of reasons. Some of them state, it’s for peace or a way of life or some direction. And they bring up their children with religion, they sort of imbibe values and principles using religion as a channel.
But on the other hand, we have some people whose values are so deeply entrenched in religion, that religion ends up becoming the first priority and humanity ends up becoming the second, and we see examples of this. For example when people oppose inter religion marriages, or religious riots or in extreme cases terrorism.
So why not live in a world without religion? Why not teach our children and the future generations, values and principles, without introducing religion?
Sadhguru: I see the question is popular. We need to understand this, a human being has many dimensions to himself or herself. In these various dimensions of who we are, I will not go into all aspects of it, one fundamental dimension is – doesn’t matter where you are in your life, you want to be something more.
Right now, you will be thinking – if I just pass my examinations, that’s good enough. But the moment you pass, you know it’s meaningless – you want to find a job. The moment you find a job, you know that’s meaningless – you want something else. It just goes on like this. Doesn’t matter where you are, you want to be something more.
So to address this longing for a human being to continuously expand, people have found various kinds of solutions. These solutions over a period of time have gotten concocted into all kinds of philosophies, ideologies, belief systems, and become variety of, what you may say as religion. But essentially it is this longing that people want to expand – they don’t know how and each one finds their own way.
Now today’s way is, your idea of expansion is how many followers you got on the Facebook or Instagram. You have thousand – you want 10,000, you have 10,000 – you wanna million. Well that’s your way, that’s your religion right now, you need to understand this. Well, maybe in another fifty – hundred years there may be a FB religion. I’m saying, if it gathers enough following, it becomes that.
It is for this reason, in this culture we created a mechanism, which unfortunately, today there are some issues, but I want you to look back and see. In this culture, because people need an icon to look up to, to aspire for, as the highest quality in their life, for this we created what is called as deity. I want you to look at this with an open mind, not with the narrative that’s going on in Chennai, okay ? They created idols and deities.
You must understand this, there are approximately thirty-three million gods and goddesses in this country. And this happened when our population was that much. That means each person had his own deity. See, if you have one deity, you have one deity, you have one deity, there is no quarrel, isn’t it? If you three together have one deity, and I have another one, now there’s a fight. I have my own, you have your own, she has her own, he has her own – what’s the problem? Hello? So we call this ‘Ishta Devata,’ that is, you can create your own God.
This is the only and only culture on the planet which has been conscious that God is our making, for our needs – according to the needs that we have. We want money, we have one kind of God. We want peace, we have another kind of God. We want security, we have another kind of God. For every need we created a form. One thing is – may be on one level is just a psychological process, on another level there is a science to this – that we created certain energy forms which would function in a certain way.
If I say this, unless I go into the entire science of it, there will be many gaps and there will be many questions will pop up. But the moment this gets endorsed by the western world, questions disappear, in most educated people’s minds, unfortunately. Hello ? It must get endorsed by the western society, then suddenly it’s perfect, nobody ask any question. So let me endorse it.
A man from Tamil Nadu, name Ramanujam, you heard of him? Ramanujam? Yeah. Did not get any PhD in mathematics, did not go to any big college, just simply started pouring mathematics. If he was here, by now he would have vanished, you would not have heard of him, please know this. He went to England – that’s the thing. He went to England and there they were flabbergasted – how does this mathematics come, from where? Well, a whole lot of things he himself could not explain.
But the mathematics that he wrote down in his notebooks, in 1908, got endorsed somewhere in 1994 or 96’, saying that, this Math that he is talking about is the backbone for proving that there are black holes. I want you to understand, in 1908 there was no concept of black hole in the scientific community. Normally the way science proceeds is – a concept, then a theory, then the math. But this man just poured out math, for which there is no concept, there is no theory, there is no idea of that in anybody’s mind, but he writes the mathematics for that.
Sitting on his death bed, he poured mathematics. People asked where is this coming from? In his words, he said, “My Devi bleeds mathematics.” This what he said. Because he is a worshipper of a certain deity, she is his window to the existence. So this is what deity is are, if they’re properly created.
People keep asking me, Sadhguru where is all this knowledge coming from? You just have to open a window. What kind of window you find is up to you. But this is what energy forms were. Today in some gross logic, very basic logic, people are trying to deny everything, just because there is a certain amount of dogma gotten mixed up with this, certain amount of blind belief systems mixed up with this, now you’re trying to throw the entire thing out. This will be the dumbest thing to do, because the strength of this culture, the intellectual development of this culture, and the achievements of this culture, essentially depended on this – that we learned to open windows into cosmic space and no knowledge, not by book, not by learning, simply by sheer perception. So, this is how the culture grew.
You need to understand this, this is a godless culture. There is no ‘The God’, in this culture. All the people you worship, your Rama, Krishna, Shiva, all these people are people who walked this geography at one time. You cannot say they did not walk because – Rama is still having real estate issues. And all of them, they did not fall from the sky, they did not appear somewhere. No, they were normal birth for their mothers, they grew up, they went through the trials and tribulations of life, more drama than what happens in your lives, all kinds of struggles.
But the reason why we worship them is not because they were perfect human beings, they had all the troubles – but whatever the trouble, doesn’t matter what life threw at them, their way of being was not disturbed, they were above it. And this is all you can do in your life – what life throws at you is not your choice, it will throw all kinds of things at you, what you make out of it is one-hundred percent your choice. If you choose this, we will worship you in this country, because you’re free. Because the only and only value we have in this culture, which this generation is forgetting. If you just talk to your mother, grandmother, for sitting down standing up, they’ll say mukti, moksha – because the highest value is liberation. Highest value is not God, highest value is not heaven, highest value is liberation, to become free from the process of life. To live here in such a way that life can do what it wants, but I will do what I wish consciously. It doesn’t matter what life does, I will do only what I want – this is freedom. This is the only thing we value, this is the only thing we bowed down to. This is not a religion. This is an empowerment of life.
But various other places they invented and they said there is one God up there and he will manage everything for you. Well do one thing, you leave your examination, engineering examination to your God, let me see how he handles. So, am I talking about atheism? No. I want you to understand, what is considered theism, and what is considered as atheism are not two different things – both of them believe something that they do not know. One believes there is God, another believes there is no God. Why are you so stupid and arrogant? Why can’t you say “you don’t know” – the fact is “you do not know”, isn’t it? Hello ?
Why is it so difficult for a human being to say – I do not know. “I do not know” is the greatest possibility in your life. The moment you say “I do not know,” the longing to know, wanting to know, seeking to know and the possibility of knowing, becomes reality in your life.
Everything you do not know, you believe – you become dead when you’re alive. Yes! If you believe something, the advantage of believing something is you get confidence. Confidence without clarity is the greatest disaster that is happening on this planet right now. Hmm? When there is no clarity, there must be hesitation. Hello? Yes or no? Confidence is not a substitute for clarity. Unfortunately religions in the world, even all the other kinds of philosophies, “I believe in myself,” not God anymore, I believe in myself. You trying to build confidence instead of sharpening your clarity. Confidence is not a substitute for clarity. Confidence without clarity is the greatest disaster that human beings are unfolding on this planet.
See, suppose I want to walk through you, but my vision is not clear. I must at least be hesitant and seek help, please can you help me? No, I’m confident – what will happen, I will step on everybody’s face, but that’s what they’re doing. Those who are confident without clarity are stepping on everybody’s faces, and they’re super confident because they’re going to heaven. Hello? See those who believe that there is a heaven, in their mind if there is a heaven, they must proceed today, isn’t it ?
The greatest crime that has been perpetrated upon the humanity is the idea of heaven. That there is a better place than this to live. This is the worst idea that has destroyed humanity. You are not eating well, you’ve no food – don’t worry when you go there [heaven], a lot of food. Your life is not good – don’t worry, when you go sit in God’s lap, everything is fantastic. No, I want you to know, either you can make this into heaven or you can make this into hell – it’s in our hands. Are we going to turn this into heaven or hell? This is the only place, the idea that there is a better place, is the disastrous idea. If there is a better place please go – now. Hello? Why are you staying here and talking about better place? Why are you asking me to go? Why don’t you go ? Hello ? If genuinely you’re dead sure there is a better place, you must go right now, isn’t it? No, you want other people to go. What is this? So these kind of nonsensical ideas have been flown for too long. It’s time to end it. But this is not atheism or theism. This is just being a sensible human being. What I know, I know; what I do not know, I do not know; what’s the problem ?