the religionless religion

“The way of the Buddha is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the term, because it has no belief system, no dogma, no scripture. It does not believe in God, it does not believe in the soul, it does not believe in any paradise. It is a tremendous unbelief-and yet it is a religion. It is unique. Nothing has ever happened like it before in the history of human consciousness, and nothing afterward.

Buddha remains utterly unique, incomparable. He says that God is nothing but a search for security, a search for safety, a search for shelter. You believe in God, not because God is there; you believe in God because you feel helpless without that belief. Even if there is no God, you will invent one. The temptation comes from your weakness. It is a projection.

Humans feel limited, helpless, almost victims of circumstance-not knowing from where they come, not knowing where they are going, not knowing why they are here. If there is no God it is difficult for ordinary people to have any meaning in life. The ordinary mind will go berserk without God. God is a prop-it helps you, it consoles you, it comforts you. It says, “Don’t be worried-the Almighty God knows everything about why you are here. He is the Creator, He knows why He has created the world. You may not know but the Father knows, and you can trust in Him.” It is a great consolation.

The very idea of God gives you a sense of relief-that you are not alone; that somebody is looking after the affairs; that this cosmos is not just chaos, it is truly a cosmos; that there is a system behind it; that there is logic behind it; it is not an illogical jumble of things; it is not anarchy, Somebody rules the cosmos; the sovereign King is there looking after each small detail-not even a leaf moves without His moving it. Everything is planned, You are part of a great destiny. Maybe the meaning is not known to you, but the meaning is there because God is there.


God brings a tremendous relief, One can believe that life is not accidental; there is a certain undercurrent of significance, meaning, destiny, God brings a sense of destiny.

Buddha says there is no God-it simply shows that we do not know why we are here, It shows our helplessness. It shows that there is no meaning available to us. By creating the idea of God we can believe in meaning, and we can live this futile life with the idea that somebody is looking after it.

Just think: you are in an airplane and somebody says, “There is no pilot.” Suddenly there will be a panic, No pilot?! No pilot means you are doomed. Then somebody says, “The pilot is there, but invisible. We may not be able to see the pilot, but he is there; otherwise, how is this beautiful mechanism functioning? Just think of it: everything is going so beautifully, there must be a pilot! Maybe we are not capable of seeing him, maybe we are not yet prayerful enough to see him, maybe our eyes are closed, but the pilot is there. Otherwise, how is it possible? This airplane has taken off, it is flying perfectly well, the engines are humming. Everything is a proof that there is a pilot.”

If somebody proves it, you relax again into your chair. You close your eyes, you start dreaming again, you can fall asleep. The pilot is there; you need not worry.

Buddha says: The pilot exists not; it is a human creation. Humankind has created God in its own image. It is a human invention. God is not a discovery, it is an invention. And God is not the truth, it is the greatest lie there is.

That’s why I say Buddhism is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the term. A Godless religion-can you imagine? When for the first time Western scholars became aware of Buddhism, they were shocked. They could not comprehend that a religion can exist and be without God. They had known only Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All these three religions are in a way very immature compared with Buddhism.

Buddhism is religion come of age. Buddhism is the religion of a mature mind. Buddhism is not childish at all, and it doesn’t support any childish desires in you. It is merciless. Let me repeat it: There has never been a man more compassionate than Buddha, but his religion is merciless.

In fact, in that mercilessness he is showing his compassion. He will not allow you to cling to any lie. Howsoever consoling, a lie is a lie. Those who have given you the lie are not friends to you, they are enemies-because under the impact of the lie you will live a life full of lies. The truth has to be brought to you, howsoever hard, howsoever shattering, howsoever shocking. Even if you are annihilated by the impact of the truth, it is good.

Buddha says: The truth is that human religions are human inventions. You are in a dark night surrounded by alien forces. You need someone to hang on to, someone to cling to. And everything that you can see is changing-your father will die one day and you will be left alone, your mother will die one day and you will be left alone, and you will be an orphan. From childhood you have been accustomed to having a father to protect you, a mother to love you. Now that childish desire will again assert itself: you will need a father figure. If you cannot find it in the sky, then you will find it in some politician.

Stalin became the father of Soviet Russia; they had dropped the idea of God. Mao became the father of China; they had dropped the idea of God. But people are such that they cannot live without a father figure. People are childish! There are very few rare people who grow to be mature.” – Osho, Buddha; his life and teachings and impact on humanity