15 March

Krishnamurti In India: The Last Decade

Rajghat 1985  – 3rd Public Talk

28    And also we should talk about religion. Don’t mistake what I’m talking about – what K is talking about. Future is now. Therefore there is no ‘I shall be born next life’. That is an idea to which you’re attached, it gives you great comfort, blah blah, all the rest of it. But if you believe in reincarnation then you must act right now, act rightly now, because next life you are going to pay for it, or be rewarded. If you believe in reincarnation, as most of you probably do – it’s a very comforting idea but it’s meaningless because if you act rightly now righteousness has no reward. Righteousness is righteousness, not what you are going to get out of it. That’s a merchandise attitude, mechanical attitude. I won’t go into all that – there’s no time because we have some other things to talk about.

29    What is religion? Sir, this is one of the most important questions in life. There are temples all over India, mosques all over the world, churches all over the world, and their priests beautifully decorated, beautifully garbed, all medallions… and so on. This has been one of the problems from ancient of times. The priest and the king. The priest wanted power. The king also wanted power. But the priest was stronger because he was the one who wrote, read, and the king had to obey him because he was the wiser man – or he was supposed to be. And gradually the king said, ‘This is not good enough’ and so there was a war between the priest and the king. This is historical – you’ll find it in different ways. And the king won. And said, ‘You keep to your place’. But the priest also wanted to have power. You know all this, don’t you? It’s happening right now. And the popes have three crowns – spiritual, terrestrial and so on. So there was a conflict in parliament between the priest and – I won’t go into all that – so the priest was put out. So they had to be religions. Religion has been built. I won’t go into the word ‘religion’. It had a complicated meaning at one time, but now it has become a symbol, a ritual, a superstition. In this country, it’s a superstition, a ritual, worshipping a symbol. This is repeated all over the world, over and over and over again – a mixture of these three. And is that religion? Parsi, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist – is that religion? Or religion is something entirely different. I’m sorry to upset all of you. But is that religion? Going to the temple three times a day, the Muslim calling five times a day and the Buddhist and so on. Is that religion or is religion something entirely different? It has nothing whatsoever to do with rituals, with symbols. Because all these are invented by man, because the priests wanted power, position, so he put on new hats, new clothes, and grew long beards, or shaved their head. So all that is called religion. Right? To an ordinary thoughtful man, fairly intelligent, he will say, ‘That’s rubbish, total rubbish’. If he discards all that, really discards, totally puts away being a Hindu, with all his superstitions, symbols, worship, prayers, all that stuff. And the Christian does, and the Buddhist, then what is religion? He is a serious man, he is not just a wordmonger – not warmonger but wordmonger. So what is religion? We’re talking over together – the speaker is not laying down the law, no authority, he says, let us talk about it, let’s investigate, let’s go into it.