Why Religion and Conflict?
Sadhguru speaks about how people fight over their own beliefs, and how they try to impose them on others, which will inevitably lead to conflict. Religion is a method to turn inwards and should not be reduced to a set of beliefs - religion is about changing oneself. The true conflict in the world is not between good and evil, but rather one man's belief versus another man's belief.
Participant: Sadhguru, religion is supposed to be the means of peace, attaining peace but in practicality in reality today every religion has got a base of fundamentalism and involve in terrorism. Can we not make an attempt to create a new world order where there is no religion at all?
Sadhguru: Now, what you unfortunately know as religion in the world today is just somebody’s belief systems. Somebody believes God is round. Somebody believes God is square. Somebody else believes he is a triangle, that’s the situation, isn't it? And you must understand this, once you start believing in something which is not yet a reality for you, you are bound to be in conflict with somebody else because somebody else is bound to believe something else. “No, no, no, I believe in my God but I am not a violent person, I will not fight with anybody” - all this is just make up. If they provoke you sufficiently you will fight. Like for example, let's say you believe God has four hands. I believe God has no hands. These are two belief systems. Tomorrow out of your love for God you put a 100 feet tall statue in Coimbatore City, of course with four hands but suddenly I feel so hurt. These four hands look so ugly because God actually has no hands because that’s my belief. So, tonight I will go to that statue, I don’t intend to cause any damage to your god, just to make him the way he really is without hands, so I just cut off the four hands. Tomorrow what’ll happen to you? You want to cut off my hands, isn't it? Simply because you believe one thing, I believe something else. As long as people believe in something conflict is inevitable because we may say “No, no, we are all brothers, we are all one, we are…everything is okay with us” all this bhai bhai (brother) stuff.
When we really have to come to a point “When I believe what I believe is right, I will try to manifest it. I will try to make it a common thing everywhere,” isn't it? Yes? Once I believe what I believe is the truth, naturally I will try to impose it on other people. I don’t call it imposition; I call it saving you from ignorance. Yes or no? Once I firmly believe that this is the way God is I will try to put it on to you, just to save you, not to hurt you, but you will get hurt because any imposition hurts. When you resist I will use other methods to put it into you, whatever those methods are - sword has been used, money has been used, every kind of inducement has been used, isn't it? Simply because I believe one thing, you believe another. Religion is not about belief system. All religions started as a method to turn inward but…it's an inward step. An inward step can be taken only by an individual. Isn't it so? It’s a very intimate thing; something very, very concerned with only with you and nothing else to do with anybody else. But when people try to organize this inward step, naturally it gets distorted. Now, we want to do our religion on the street. Religion cannot be done on the street, it can only be done within you. If you become truly religious you must be beyond any kind of conflict, isn't it, both within and outside? That is the whole crux of the religion, isn't it? But today religion means conflict. If you utter the word religion you are talking generally in terms of conflict that is happening in the world, isn't it? This is because you have reduced an inward step into a set of beliefs. Because if you have to take an inward step you have to transform yourself. If you have to believe something you don’t have to transform yourself, you can do whatever nonsense you want and still believe God is up in the heaven, isn't it? Yes? The crudest people, the cruelest people on the planet have always been talking about God. Isn't it so? Yes or no?
Sadhguru: All the warmongers in the world have been talking about God. Isn't it so? And God has been helping them. See, the moment you believe something you have a new kind of confidence, that’s the biggest problem. When idiots become very confident the world is in danger. An intelligent person is constantly hesitating with life. With every step he wonders whether what he is doing is okay or not but a fool has absolute confidence and when his stupidity gets stamped by God, that’s it, no looking back, just can go on doing the most idiotic things without any problem about it. The very nature of your intelligence is such that if you do something stupid today, tonight your intelligence will bother you, “Why did I do this?” Isn’t it so? But if you get God’s stamp on your stupidity you don’t have to turn back and see. You can do grossest things on the planet and not bother about it, feel very proud that you are anyway going to go to heaven because you did all this nonsense. There is no experiential dimension, you are just believing something. Once you believe something, your belief and somebody else’s belief are bound to clash somewhere. The conflict in the world is not between good and evil, please see this. Though people always claim it is so, it is not true. It is always one man’s belief versus another man’s belief. So, religion has become a problem because we have reduced it into just a set of beliefs. If it was experientially true that you really felt God then could there be conflict? There is no such possibility, isn't it? But because you are growing from belief system you are not willing to make the effort of going beyond what you have gathered from others and looking at life by yourself; that is why there is conflict. If you do not know there will be no conflict. If you know there will be no conflict at all but when you pretend to know there is bound to be conflict.