The meaning of Religion.
Brockwood Park 4th Public Talk 7th September 1980
The word 'religion', the root of it, has not been established. I think from observing and looking into various dictionaries, it really means gathering together all energy to find out the truth. I think that is what it means, after looking at various French, English, Italian dictionaries. It implies also diligence and negligence. A mind must be utterly diligent to find out what is truth. And if there is any kind of negligence it is a distraction and a wastage of energy. We are not stating this, it is a fact. Where the mind is dissipating itself in all the trivialities, in gossip, in getting hurt and wounding others, violence, caught up in its own self-centred activity, all that is negligence. Whereas a religious mind demands diligence to be precise, to be accurate, objectively and inwardly, so that there is no illusion, no deception, total integrity. That is what can be called a mind that is religious. But religion as it exists is not religion at all. All the propaganda, the images in the West, and the images in the East, you know, the whole rituals, the whole dressing up and all that business, has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. You may disagree with this. If you are a devout Christian, a practising Catholic, probably you will even not listen. And when the speaker goes to India he tells them the same thing, that their religion, their superstitions, their images, all the nonsensical meaningless rituals have nothing to do whatsoever with truth. And many of them have said, "You should be burnt"! Or sent to a concentration camp. Probably, if you were living in the Middle Ages you would be: tortured, called a heretic, burnt in the name of god, peace and all the rest of it. In India they are a little more absorbing, they see a part of all this, but it is not meant for you, for us, you go away.